Kenya bans clipboards to curb exam cheating at schools
Schoolchildren in Kenya will be barred from entering examination rooms with clipboards and geometry set boxes in a bid to curb cheating, the education ministry has said.
The directive also bans the use of mobile phones near examination centres.
Cheating cases in secondary schools rose by up to 70% last year, leading to arrests and the cancellation of results for 5,000 students.
More than 1.5 million children will start writing examinations next week.
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The BBC's Dickens Olewe says many children use clipboards as a flat base for writing on as desks are often uneven.
But the ministry believes that some pupils cheat by writing notes on them to help them answer questions.
It also says geometry instruments will now have to be carried in a "clear see-through bag".
In July, Education Minister Fred Matiang'i blamed "cheats" for being behind a wave of arson attacks - more than 100 secondary schools were burnt down by pupils.
He said that students who were angry with the government's plans to end cheating were behind the attacks.
Mr Matiang'i has blamed a "cartel", including teachers, for being behind exam cheating.
Earlier this year, the national examinations board was disbanded, some senior managers fired and nearly 200 people, including teachers and police officers, were arrested and charged over exam malpractices.
A education ministry statement says the new rules will "seal loopholes that have previously enabled students to cheat".
Other measure that have been introduced to clamp down on cheating include putting head teachers in charge of exam administration at their schools, "to make them accountable".
Examination papers are being stored at several central locations under 24-hour armed police surveillance where access will be limited to prevent "leakage".
According to Kenya's private Daily Nation newspaper, a total of 577,338 children at primary schools and 952,473 students at secondary schools will be writing examinations from 1 November for about a month.
Only teachers and students involved in examinations are to be allowed on school premises during that time, the education ministry said.