The number of students whose Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination results were cancelled almost tripled compared to 2017.
Some 3,427 students did not receive their results in 2018, compared to 1,200 candidates the year before.
In an indictment of teachers, examination administrators and students, a report gave details on how persons entrusted with the integrity of the tests broke rules to aid cases of irregularities despite massive investment in the administration of the examinations.
“If you compare the more than 600,000 candidates who sat the examinations and the few who cheated, it is clear some work was done,” said Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) Chairman George Magoha.
Teachers and examination administrators were accused of abetting the vice, inviting serious questions on their commitment to contain the menace.
Prof Magoha yesterday said investigations had shown that teachers worked out answers for candidates and invigilators allowed students to get access to prohibited materials to enable them to cheat. He said examiners detected several cases where candidates had identical errors in calculations, pointing to collusion as the method most students employed to cheat.
In another case, candidates at one centre had correct responses based on incorrect working.
“There were also cases of identical wording, often with identical unusual grammar or vocabulary,” said Magoha, adding that Knec had conducted thorough and objective investigations.
“Knec wishes to send a strong warning to all candidates, schools and the general public that the council will not condone any form of examination malpractice,” said Magoha.
Some cases were detected by examiners and investigators who unearthed many similar corrections made by groups of candidates in some centres.
In another cases, groups of candidates had identical readings to those of their teachers in science practicals.
A school that cheated would have been ranked sixth nationally if examiners had failed to detect the irregularities.
“Other forms of collusion detected included candidates having identical readings in science practicals,” said Magoha.
He added that there was evidence of cases where answers were copied from textbooks/notes or were prepared outside the examination room.
Some candidates also used ink of different shades in response to questions, pointing to possible collusion. Knec withheld the results of 53 examination centres to allow for investigations. Some 4,702 candidates sat the examinations in the affected centres.
Magoha said the affected students were free to resit the exams this year.