Academic fraud at Kenya Methodist University exposed

Academic fraud at Kenya Methodist University exposed

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Kenya Methodist University has for years been flouting set down Kenya higher education policies by awarding students degrees in which they do not qualify for, sources within the institution claim. This is likely to give credence to complaints by employers who have been silently mumbling that Kenya Methodist University- Kemu has been churning out incompetent graduates. Such graduates, it is said, will be shocked when they seek jobs in public and private offices as their degrees would be considered null and void.

There had been earlier allegations of Kenya Methodist University students graduating without completing research and there had also been claims of lecturers not marking scripts and forging results, of missing marks, and of students who scored below the pass mark somehow finding their way onto graduation lists with high marks.

This week we reveal how five Kenya Methodist University students graduated with Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Security Management allegedly through fraudulent and dubious means. According to sources, the five students who were undertaking the course and who are traffic and regular police officers based in Nairobi were awarded cooked marks as their lecturer had withheld their marked examination scripts over non-payment of his dues.

Cases of “missing marks” are not any news to Kenya Methodist University students across the country. The phrase “missing marks” has been coined within Kemu circles to describe an academic fraud where a student sits for an examination but does not get the results of some units but ends up graduating. At Kenya Methodist University, cases of students missing results after exams have been rampant but the university always had a way of solving them by allegedly giving free marks.

We have gathered from our sources that a lecturer who was hired by Kenya Methodist University on part-time basis and who introduced the course at Kemu Nairobi Campus worked for two semesters without any pay. According to the contract the  lecturer signed with Kenya Methodist University, his duties included giving lecturers, setting exams including Cats, marking and submitting results together with marked exam scripts and upon successful submission, a cheque is released. A student involved in the controversy claimed the management is not keen on academics but money.

In the first semester, the students reveals they were  lectured, the don set and marked exams and submitted results as per the contract but no cheque was released and was kept waiting until he began the second semester. At the end of the second semester, he  again set, marked and withheld the marked scripts and informed the university management that he was not going to release the marked exam scripts unless he was paid full salary for the two semesters and as per the contract.

As graduation date neared, the university management tried in vain to convince him to release the exam scripts to allow the five students to graduate but he stuck to the contract terms he signed before taking up the job. According to the student, their attempts to convince him release the scripts did not bear fruits. The bitter students wondered why Kenya Methodist Universityhas not paid the lecturer yet they had cleared all their fees.

Sources divulged that a meeting was held and it was agreed that since the students could not graduate without the marks awarded, the management had to move fast.The five students  were allegedly awarded cooked marks which were then used and degree fraudulently awarded.

Many who knew the happenings were shocked when they saw the five students wearing academic gowns during Kemu’s 16th graduation ceremony held on July 23 2016 at Kemu Main Campus in Meru where the chief guest speaker was Peter Munga, chairman Equity Group Holdings.

Word has it, the lecturer who had marked examination scripts of the five students who allegedly were awarded degrees using fake marks is set to write a protest letter to Commissioner for University Education headed by David Some, ministry of Education cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i, principal secretary Colleta Sudi and all relevant authorities to carry out investigations into this matter and to declare the said degrees null and void and to further take stern disciplinary action against the university management.

The source said how Kemu hires parttime lecturers who are never paid and some who have pending cases in court over nonpayment of their dues. It is imperative to note that whereas Kenya Methodist University management has continued to frustrate not only parttime lecturers but also fulltime lecturers, Kemu students are never allowed to sit even for a Cat nor can one be allowed to graduate if one has not cleared fees and one wonders why they collect so much money but do not have courtesy to pay the lecturers.

It is alleged the cooking of marks at Kemu is a clear demonstration how the university is involved in fraud, blackmailing the government of Kenya and the ministry of Education and above all conning students by giving them degrees which they do  not qualify for. At Kenya Methodist University, lecturers work under pressure from the programmes coordinator who pushes them to give students good marks and to ensure no student fails in the exams and that is how Kemu ends up passing out half-baked graduates, it is claimed.

Investigations further reveal that Kenya Methodist University has been violating the law, regulation and policies that govern examinations and by doing so lowering the academic standards of the instruction as it had devised mechanisms of duping Kenyans by offering students degrees they do not qualify for.

What  this therefore means is that the university is more interested in making quick money at the expense of the students and parents who are conned of their hardearned money. It is said that at Kemu, no students have ever failed exams or even sat for supplementary exams as lecturers are under strict instruction to ensure no student failed exams.

Although Kenya Methodist University is a private institution, the fact that students form part of the public makes it also a public institution with a duty to the public to maintain the integrity of academic results and not to fraudulently award degrees. It is high time CUE cracked the whip and if any culprits are found, appropriate action must be taken. The missing marks, academic fraud and malpractices have tainted the reputation of Kenya Methodist University and it is time the management was held to account.

Tribalism also rears its ugly head at the institution with the Meru community being favoured in key positions.

Henry Kiriamiti  is the vice chancellor. His two deputies are  Peter Mageto – Academic Affairs, Alice Mutungi – Administration and Finance.

Risper Awiti – principal in charge of Nairobi Campus, Isaiah Muthee – Registrar- Academic Affairs and Joel Mberia – Registrar- Administration, Planning & Development

Deans and directors are not allowed to operate freely and have to take orders from the kitchen cabinet that has Kiriamiti, Mutungi, Mberia and Nancy Rintari the chief marketing manager.

The deans and directors are  Nephat Kathuri – acting dean, Faculty of Education, Arts & Sciences, Rachael Gesami – Dean, School of Business and Economics, Barasa Otsyula – Dean, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Salesio Kiura – Dean. Faculty of Computing and Informatics, John Muchiri – Research Development & Postgraduate Studies and Tarsilla Kibara – Dean, Quality Assurance & Curriculum Development Centre.

Others are James Kubai – Dean of Students, Stephen Kanyaru – director, Directorate of University Advancement and Judith Kamau – Centre for Distance Education and Innovative Learning. Campus directors are Suzan Nzioki – Nakuru Campus, Sheila Ryanga – Mombasa Campus, Michael Kiama – Nyeri Campus and Ombati Moturi – Kisii Campus. Centre directors are Rosemary Kirambia – Marimanti Centre, Clement Nkaabu – Meru Town Centre and Derio Njeru – Maua Town Centre.

Also read: Why University of Nairobi is in serious Financial Crisis

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