Examination results for 2,975 candidates, some from national schools, were cancelled for cheating, the Education Cabinet secretary revealed on Tuesday.
The number, however, was a significant drop from the 3,812 whose results were cancelled in the 2013 examination.
Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said it was sad that top schools were involved in cheating, threatening the credibility of national examinations.
“County schools, followed by sub-county schools, had the highest number of cheats,” said Prof Kaimenyi when he released the results at Mitihani House in Nairobi on Tuesday.
Without disclosing names, he said it was a big disappointment that five national schools, despite admitting top students, were involved in examination irregularities.
“I wonder why a national school would admit the cream of the KCPE performers and still cheat. If the cream of the nation cheat, what will the rest do?” asked Prof Kaimenyi.
He said the vice had been made worse by the fact that principals and headteachers were “in the forefront of perpetuating examination cheating”.
He said he was extremely disappointed that instead of being role models to students, the teachers were, instead, showing children in their care how to cheat.
“These students will live with this dishonesty. They will never trust seniors, their self-esteem is affected even if they score top grades,” said Prof Kaimenyi.
According to the Kenya National Examination Council, the most common method of cheating involves collusion and 2,410 candidates’ results were cancelled because of this.
Some candidates caught cheating defied a ban on mobile phones and took the gadgets into the examination room, contributing greatly to the high number of irregularities.
Officials confiscated 179 phones in examination rooms.
Prof Kaimenyi said other candidates smuggled in notes.
According to last year’s KCSE examination statistics, only seven counties did not have a single case of cheating.
These were Taita-Taveta, Tana River, Lamu, Nyandarua, Marsabit, Siaya and Nyamira.
Lamu and Taita-Taveta counties have again maintained a clean record in the 2014 exams.
The number of examination centres that recorded cases of cheating also went down from 2.6 per cent to 2.2 per cent.
“While this is laudable, we should be vigilant to ensure that the number of candidates cheating in examinations drops to zero,” said Prof Kaimenyi.