The government on Monday vowed to tighten the lid on exam cheating as Form Four candidates begun sitting the test across the country.
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said his team will continue weeding out cheats, saying various government departments have been mobilised to ensure the entire process runs smoothly.
“To strengthen our education system, we need to administer credible exams. There will be no leakage or cheating.
"The regulations will be two or three times tougher than last year,” he said at Kericho High School, where he witnessed the opening of the exam container.
Meanwhile, Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said five helicopters will be used to ferry examination materials in places rendered inaccessible by the heavy rains pounding many parts of the country.
In Mandera, the delivery of examination papers was delayed in Burduras Secondary school in Mandera West and Rhamu Dimtu in Mandera North because of flooding.
“We have deployed helicopters to ensure the exam papers are dispatched on time.
"I have engaged with regional education coordinator in Northern Kenya where we also encountered some challenges and he has assured me that all is well,” the PS said.
He spoke as a candidate in Busia County was forced to sit the Maths paper 1 examination on her maternity bed, having gone into labour.
The 20-year-old St Monica Butunyi Mixed School girl was rushed to Khunyangu Hospital in Butula on Monday morning, a few minutes before the start of the exams.
“The student was in her first stages of labour. We will continue to monitor her condition closely but she is stable,” Deputy Medical Superintendent Cindy Ekisa said.
In Nyandarua, Narok and Samburu counties, the tests started amid tight security, with only authorised persons being allowed into the exam centres.
Security officials and exam supervisors said they were under strict instructions not to allow anyone into the compound apart from those cleared by the ministry.
Not even journalists were allowed in.
In Nakuru, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said his ministry was working with his Education and Interior colleagues to ensure the exams were credible.
At Naivasha Maximum Security Prison Education Institute, the principal, Bonaventure Mukhwana Mutali, was among the 22 inmates sitting the exam.
The 58-year-old institution head said he wanted to experience the challenge of sitting an examination together with his students.
“I have been teaching for a long time and having done my A-levels years ago. It is a fresh challenge,” the inmate, who is serving a long sentence, said.
Teachers Service Commission chief executive Nancy Macharia, who inspected the opening of the examination container at Ainabkoi Sub-County headquarters in Uasin-Gishu, turned away deputy principals who sought to pick up the examination materials on behalf of their principals, saying the examinations council rules were categorical that only school heads could do so.
In Tharaka-Nithi, a candidate is sitting her examination at Chogoria Mission Hospital after she gave birth six days ago.