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Educational Milestone As KCSE 2016 Results Record Zero Cheating Cases, Here’s How CS Matiang’i Closed Down Every Cheating Loophole

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Kenya is yet to come to terms with the KCSE results announced by Education CS revealing a massive drop in performances as compared to the previous years. Most shocking is that only 15% of the 577K candidates who sat for the exams scored C+ and above meaning 85% of the candidates failed. Such disturbing stats. Going further, only 141 candidates scored straight As down from 2865 the previous year. The embarrassing decline exposed an alarming trend within the system that dubious grades have been churned over time. On releasing the results, the CS said the exam was tightly supervised than ever before with no single cheating case, and for the first time in Kenya history, KNEC didn’t cancel a single result. As the CS said the grades released were the clear and genuine reflection of the candidates and Kenya education system. Damned!

The inconsistency is attributed to exams cheating which has been rampant in the past recent years, 2015 exams were largely leaked that ministry contemplated calling for the exams. 5000 results were canceled, and it recorded highest numbers of As. Dishonest grades that have seen a culture of jelly students registering for prestigious courses in universities given their strong but untrue grades, shifting courses over the years. Prof. Magoha noted with concern how 50% of students who join medical schools come with fake grades only to spring out of the course when the tough hits the rail.

Schools and students have been running monkey businesses for good grades that the stiff Matiang’i rules killed embarrassing schools like Kabarak who previously recorded 212 As in 2015 and managed mere 2 As this year. It’s known that of some private schools operate multiple examination centers with an aim of engaging in unethical practices meant to enable them to record favourable rankings in national usual. This is a ridiculous examination malpractice since the proprietors of these schools are apparently using innocent students in an unscrupulous marketing exercise of their businesses.

Students during exams

Students during exams

As it were, these schools register weaker pupils at sister “satellite” examination centres so as not to bring down the mean scores of their main “marketing” schools. We have discovered that the majority of these schools that offload “weaker” pupils usually have a small candidature of between 20 and 30 of their best candidates. These abnormal centers are the ones that top charts whenever ranking for schools is done. How just did the ministry cap exams cheating and beating the cartel at their own game?

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In May 2016, Matiang’i banned the holding of mass prayers and school visiting days during the third term, noting that some unscrupulous individuals use these days to sneak materials that could compromise national exams.

October, Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang announced the overseeing of the national examinations by county commissioners, as opposed to the Kenya National Examination Officials (KNEC) supervisors who had been conducting the similar role in previous national examinations.

The Education Ministry had also advocated the installation of security cameras in examination centers, aside from preventing the use of mobile phones by invigilators, supervisors or candidates in the exam room.

Matiang’i made head teachers directly responsible for their exam centres. Under the new regulations, head teachers were required to pick exam papers from county distribution points at 5:00am every day – a departure from normal practice where police managed distribution.

Exam papers had unique watermark barcodes on each page, a measure that was aimed at curbing copying. Exams marking were done under great scrutiny and set timelines. On the close of business day, all results from marking centers were electronically live streamed to the nerve center for keying in. All markings were done by 24th Dec. Unlike previous times where releasing results was delayed till February a period which gave time for money to exchange hands and manipulate the results, Matiangi released the results almost immediately to cut off this cartel.

Many useful lessons can be drawn from the successful administration of the 2016 national examinations. The most significant, however, is that with effective collaboration and coordination amongst relevant agencies of government, virtually any national task and objectives of government can be met. Going forward. Therefore, the Ministry of Education will endeavor to ensure effective cooperation and collaboration with all relevant actors to reform and strengthen the education system adequately.

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The second lesson we learn is that the Government has all the machinery and capacity to run a clean, transparent and credible national examination. All we need is careful planning and committed staff who operate with high levels of integrity. Excuses like that of ICT CS Mucheru of Al Shabaab hacking Electronic voting system in favor of manual backup, don’t get things done instead action does.


Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on tips.kenyainsights@gmail.com or via Telegram

Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Send me tips to [in.kenyawest@gmail.com]

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Government Abandons New SGR

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Kenya has been rolling deep down into public debt in the name of development. Government handlers have been on the frying pot for advising the government of projects that are not profit generating at the expense of the tax payers.

Recently a Chinese loan worth Ksh.374 billion for the extension of the SGR from Naivasha to Malaba didn’t materialize. With some saying that Chinese now wants the government to prove that they are going to pay for the first loan.

The government of Kenya now has plans to modernize the old railway track to link a newer line to neighbouring Uganda at a cost of Ksh.21.3billion.

Sources in the government indicate that unidentified private financier has offered to fully back up the project. This is almost 15 times cheaper than building another almost modern railway with Chinese loan.

also read:Container Freight Station Owners To Lose Sh35B Investment In SGR’s Cargo Debacle.

The SGR was under  China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, a multi-billion dollar series of infrastructure projects upgrading land and maritime trade routes between China and Europe, Asia and Africa.

The Nairobi-Mombasa SGR that was launched at a cost of Ksh 323.9 billion then later linked with Nairobi-Naivasha line costing Ksh.151.7billion might sound as a serious wastage joke when the government links it to Naivasha-Malaba track that will cost Ksh 21.3 billion.

“We need to make sure that when we commission the SGR in August, we have connectivity to Uganda from the SGR so we have to rehabilitate that line to make sure it is properly functional,” said CS James Macharia,

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Macharia also said that using Ksh.15 billion to rehabilitate decades-old line from Malaba on the border with Uganda and using the remaining amount construct another short track connecting to the SGR at Naivasha within a year would be a faster option than building another SGR.


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Henley Index: The Kenyan Passport Is Now The Strongest In The Region With 71 Countries You Can Visit Without A Visa

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New generations Kenyan passport.

For some people, a passport is a portal to the world. For others, it is a barrier to the travel freedom they seek.

According to the Henley Passport Index, which is the most rigorous and sophisticated measure of global access, Kenyan passport has been ranked the 73rd most powerful powerful in the world with 71 destinations listed that you can visit without a visa or issued with a visa on arrival.

The Henley Passport Index is the only passport index that is based on IATA data, enhanced by extensive in-house research, supported by expert commentary, and updated regularly throughout the year, making it the most robust, credible, and reliable index of its kind.

Kenya which is still the strongest passport in the East African region, has however dropped in rankings compared to 2017 where it was at 68th now down by 4 points to 73 a significant drop.

South Africa holds the 3rd strongest passport in Africa at position 52 globally with 102 visa free destinations. Nigeria is at 94th with only 47 destinations.

Kenya has the 6th most powerful passport in Africa after Seychelles which is 25th with 152 destinations, Mauritius, 31st with 146 destinations, South Africa and Namibia which is at 69 with 79 visa free destinations.

Regionally, Kenya is the strongest with Tanzania coming right after at position 74 with 68 visa free destinations. Uganda, 77th with 64 destinations. Rwanda at 87th with 54 destinations.

Chart indicating Kenya’s performance over the years.

Japan has overtaken Singapore to claim the top spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, having gained visa-free access to Myanmar earlier this month. Japan now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, compared to Singapore’s total of 189. Japan and Singapore have been neck and neck on the index since they both climbed to 1st place in February — following a visa-exemption from Uzbekistan — and pushed Germany down to 2nd place for the first time since 2014.

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This quarter, Germany has fallen further to 3rdplace, which it now shares with South Korea and France. France moved up from 4th to 3rdplace last Friday when it gained visa-free access to Uzbekistan, while South Korea moved from 4th to 3rd place on 1 October when it gained visa-free access to Myanmar. Germany, France, and South Korea all have a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 188. Iraq and Afghanistan continue to hold the bottom (106th) spot of the Henley Passport Index, with only 30 destinations accessible to their citizens.

The US and the UK, both with 186 destinations, have also slid down one spot — from 4th to 5th place — with neither having gained access to any new jurisdictions since the start of 2018. With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers such as Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, it seems increasingly unlikely that the US and the UK will regain the number 1 spot they jointly held in 2015.

Countries that you can visit with a Kenyan passport without a visa or be issued with one on arrival can be accessed here:

Asia: Cambodia, Laos, Macao(SAR China), Maldives, Nepal, Timor-Leste.

Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde Islands, Comores Islands, Congo, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mozambique, Seychelles, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Togo.

Oceania: Palau Islands, Samoa And Tuvalu.

St. Lucia

Americas: Bolivia

Middle-East: Iran and Jordan.

This list mutates so you have to check with your travel agent.

For several years, the South African passport has remained the third strongest on the continent in terms of its levels of access, with Lrst and second place held by the Seychelles and Mauritius, respectively.

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Both islands continue to outperform their continental counterparts due to their maintenance of prized visa-waiver agreements with Schengen countries as well as their own relatively open visa policies, which have generally been reciprocated.

The Seychelles, which renders itself a completely visa-free destination, secured further deregulated visa access for its passport-holders through visa waivers from the governments of Thailand and Angola in the Lrst quarter of 2018. Similarly, Mauritius, which is visa-free for all but 16 countries, secured a visa-waiver agreement with New Zealand in April 2018.

Although the rest of Africa continues to lag behind in the accessibility of their passports, there is reason for optimism. While visa-free access outside of the continent is still limited, African states are increasingly deregulating visa regulations for their continental counterparts.

A case in point is Angola, which recently removed visa requirements for nine African countries: namely, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Cabo Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Morocco, Swaziland, Algeria, and Zambia. Similarly, the undertaking of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community to grant visa waivers to passport-holders of its member states (Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Central Africa Republic, Congo- Brazzaville, Gabon, and Chad) could also be replicated by other regional political blocs seeking to promote the African Union’s vision of increasing inter-African trade and travel, as outlined in its Agenda 2063 mandate.


Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on tips.kenyainsights@gmail.com or via Telegram
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Mombasa County Launches Open Roof Double Decker Sightseeing Busses As Joho’s Goverment Strives To Boost The Tourism Industry

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The launched double decker bus.

Trade, Tourism and Investment CECM Hon. Fawz Rashid officially launched the Mombasa Sightseeing Bus at the Tusks earlier today. Among those present during the launch were Archbishop Martin Kivuva, Mombasa County Chief Officer Mr. Innocent Mugabe, Tourism Finance Corporation MD Mr. Jonah Orumoi, Proul-Mombasa Sightseeing Bus Limited acting CEO Ms. Evelyn Lelle, Kenya Association for Hotel Keepers and Caterers CEO Mr. Sammy Ikwaye and Kenya Coast Tourist Association CEO Mr. Julius Owino.

The bus

The introduction of the double-decker sightseeing buses to Mombasa’s tourism scene is a major milestone towards elevating our tourism industry and building the infrastructure for sustainable tourism success.

This service addresses a gap in the sector that exists today, whilst also making Mombasa more appealing as a leisure destination to tourists. These tours will be one of the best ways for visitors in Mombasa to get acquainted with all that this unique city has to offer.

The county government of Mombasa will work hand in hand with the management of the sightseeing buses to put a facelift at the various stopping points to give tourists the opportunity to have quality interactions with our rich history and culture through sampling of our local cuisines, shopping for our traditional souvenirs and taking part in our local dances and music.

A ride on the bus giving such a view.

This will also loop in our youth and women into the tourism value chain as they provide these lasting memories to our visitors. This sightseeing bus should not only offer a fantastic service for tourists coming to Mombasa but for people living or working in or around Mombasa who might have a couple of hours to spare, or friends and relatives visiting from out of town.

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The open roof double decker bus will allow tourists to hop-on and hop-off as much as they like at any of the bus stops on the route and see all the best sights and attractions that Mombasa city has to offer.


Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on tips.kenyainsights@gmail.com or via Telegram
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