The results of 2,927 candidates in 154 schools have been cancelled due to cheating.
The highest number of schools involved were from Garissa county (18) followed by Nairobi (15), Mandera (14) and Mombasa (8).
Others were Wajir (8), Kisii (7), Migori (6), Makueni (6), Bungoma (5) and Homa Bay counties (5).
This is a significant increase given that the cases had dropped by more than half last year, from 1,711 in 2009 to 534.
“These numbers may appear low when compared to candidature. However, it is a painful experience to hear even one candidate was involved in cheating,” Education Minister Sam Ongeri said on Wednesday.
Eleven counties, including Nyeri, Turkana, Laikipia, Busia and Taita Taveta, did not have any case of cheating.
Others are Tana River, Nyandarua, Machakos, West Pokot, Nyamira and Trans Nzoia.
Prof Ongeri noted that cheating had taken different forms in every national examination but collusion among teachers, parents and candidates continued unabated.
“We are working to track down the culprits involved in the irregularities by identifying the weak link in the exam distribution process,” he said.
Kenya National Examinations Council boss Paul Wasanga said the use of mobile phones in exam centres was the greatest challenge they were facing in curbing irregularities.
Investigations revealed that teachers played a central role in helping candidates cheat. Some Sh1.3 million changed hands in a web of 120 mobile phones in attempts to access the exam papers, the investigations showed.
Five secondary school teachers were at the heart of the web. A teacher from a Nyanza school reportedly received more than Sh800,000 to supply papers within the network. “We will investigate the matter thoroughly and a decisive action shall be taken against the culprits,” Prof Ongeri said.
Already, some suspects have been arrested and sentenced while other cases are still pending in court.
Six Kenyatta University students, who abetted cheating, have been recommended for suspension while the teachers will have their licences withdrawn.
Prof Ongeri said some candidates refused to be frisked and to be confined during practical exams.
“When some of the candidates were caught with pre-prepared notes in the exam rooms they resorted to chewing and swallowing them,” he said.