The role of school administrators in curbing examination malpractices in KCSE in Nairobi County, Kenya.
Wambugu, Caroline W.
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Academic dishonesty is a discipline issue which poses a question to the effectiveness of school administration. Educators are in agreement that cheating in examinations is an ethical issue which is of great concern. This issue of dishonesty among students is witnessed in every institution of learning including primary, secondary and institutes of higher learning. Kenya National Examination Council has put strict measures in the KNEC Act published in 2012 that provides strict penalties to culprit of cheating in KNEC examinations. However despite these strict measures, examination irregularities do occur in various parts of the country. Some irregularities go unnoticed. Research on the role of school administrators in curbing the examination irregularities in KCSE is needed because by instilling good examination ethics, honesty in school life and hard work to earn good grades will positively influence the achievement of education goals in the country. The purpose of this study was to find out the role of school administrators in curbing the examination irregularities in KCSE. The research objectives were: first objective was to establish the various forms and causes of examination irregularities. The second was to establish the role played by the school administrators in curbing examination irregularities in KCSE. The third objective was to investigate the effect of examination irregularities on teaching and learning process in schools and the last objective was to establish the appropriate strategies the school administrators can take to curb examination irregularities in KCSE examinations. The methodological approach used in this study was descriptive survey design. The target population comprised of 31 secondary schools in Nairobi County. Purposive sampling was used to obtain sample size. The survey used a sample size of 435 respondents drawn from both private and public secondary schools together with county director of education. The sample size consisted of principles, teachers and students. Questionnaires for principals, teachers, and students were administered. Interviews with school principals and county director of education were conducted in the study seeking to know the role of school administrators in curbing examination irregularities in KCSE. The study revealed that: collusion was the main form of examination irregularity while the main cause of examination irregularity was lack of adequate individual preparation for examinations. The study found that the major role played by school administrators in curbing examination irregularities was.to play an active supervisory role during examinations. The main effect of examination irregularities was found to be: lowering of school reputation and also brought shame to the students. The <study found that proper preparation of students for examinations was the main strategy in curbing examination irregularities in KCSE examinations. The findings concluded that the school administrators can effectively eliminate examination irregularities if they play their role effectively hence lead to achievement of education goals of the country. The study recommended that: The Kenya National Examination Council to provide comprehensive assistance and training for examination officials on examination issues and misconduct and on how to handle examination misconduct. Second recommendation was that the school administrators to ensure thorough preparation of candidates for examinations. The study further recommended that KNEC to pay the school administrators for the noble role they play during examination period. The study also recommended the penalties to be put in place as stipulated by KNEC Bill 2012 for the persons and centers guilt of cheating in KCSE examination to deter others from practicing the vice. Lastly the study recommended that the Ministry of Education to create an action plan for total elimination of examination irregularities within a specified timeframe. The researcher suggests a further research to be conducted on alternative form of assessment to replace the high stake KCSE examination.