Entrance to Eastmore Secondary School in Nakuru.
Entrance to Eastmore Secondary School in Nakuru.

The Chemistry practical paper that was done during the 2019 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, KCSE, exams may have leaked long before it was done. A revealing story carried on one of the local dailies suggests that the same paper that was done on Friday November 8, 2019 may have been done as a post-mock exam at Eastmore Girls’ High School in Nakuru County. (Eastmore Girls Secondary School is a Private Secondary School, located in Nakuru town, Nakuru Town East Constituency in Nakuru County.)

FEW ALTERATIONS

We have since independently confirmed that the two papers (The 2019 KCSE exam and the Post mock) have striking resemblances. If indeed the setter of this post mock exam paper predicted and did not have any leaked information, then he/she must be very accurate.

In both the post mock and the KCSE papers, the questions contain similar instructions, reagents, procedures and questions; with minimal variations here and there. The post mock paper set by one Nyikuri Nashon could be easily passed for the real KCSE Chemistry paper three (practical) from the Kenya National Examinations Council. According to the title on the post mock paper, it was to be done in September/ October, 2019. But, we could not independently ascertain whether the students of Eastmore Girls sat for the paper in question or not.

This comes at a time when the Ministry and KNEC have put up spirited efforts to eradicate cheating at National exams. A few cases of attempted cheating during this year’s KCSE exams have been reported with suspects recording statements at respective police posts.

CONTROVERSY RIDDEN CHEMISTRY PRACTICAL EXAM

Of most eye catching in the Post mock paper is the use of the reagent suspected to be Xylene that has been the subject of discussion lately. After the KCSE exams some teachers and students are reportedly to have been taken ill as a result of exposure to Xylene. The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, KUPPET, has already threatened to sue the Education Ministry and KNEC for exposing teachers to ‘dangerous’ chemicals.

The Ministry on its side has refuted claims that Xylene and the other reagents used in the 2019 KCSE exams are poisonous. According to the Cabinet Secretary (Prof George Magoha) and Permanent Secretary (Dr Belio Kipsang) the reagents are used every day in schools and no one has launched a formal complaint either to the Ministry or KNEC.

The paper doing rounds on Social Media contains questions and supposed answers. Here are screen shots of the contentious Chemistry Post Mock Paper doing rounds on Social Media;