The release of this year's Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam results Thursday caught many Kenyans by surprise.
The national examination that has always been released after Christmas came out just one day after the close of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).
The Ministry of Education's communication team sent out an email at about 10.48am on the scheduled release.
“Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i is scheduled to release the 2016 KCPE Examination results today, December 1, 2016, at 11.30am. The event will take place at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) on Murang'a Road Nairobi,” read the email.
The email presented notable deviations from the norm. Previously, national examinations were released at the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) offices at Caledonia.
The Standard established that releasing the exam at the KNEC offices would have alerted the media on the highly classified information.
At the KICD auditorium, only top Education ministry officials were at the main dais, alongside Interior and National Co-ordination Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and his ICT counterpart Joe Mucheru.
Unlike in the past, the main table was not crowded, with only KNEC council members, Director-General of Education Leah Rotich and the eight Ministry of Education regional directors.
There was also no entertainment before speeches. Previously, the KNEC choir entertained visitors. The master of ceremonies has always been a KNEC official, but his time, PS Belio Kipsang presided over the ceremony.
And during speeches, only Matiang'i, Mucheru and Magoha as well as Ms Macharia spoke. KNEC Chief Executive Officer Mercy Karogo did not speak.
And for the first time, Form One selection will be completed before Christmas and candidates admitted to their new schools on the same day schools open.
The speeches were laden with praises on teachers' role in the examination administration.
Officials stressed enhancement of security during examinations.