Kenya High, Kapsabet, Alliance shine in KCSE

Thursday, December 19th, 2019 00:00 | By
Maryanne Njeri Barasa, the second best student in 2019 KCSE and the best exam female student, is carried shoulder high by her former teachers and classmates at The Kenya High School, Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/Kenna Claude

The Kenya High reclaimed its place as an academic giant after it emerged the best secondary school in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination, producing 76 candidates with the highest overall mean grade of A (plain) out of 315 students who sat the test.

It was followed by Kapsabet Boys, which had 49 out of a class of 379 candidates, while Alliance High School came third with 48 students with plain As out of 423 boys who wrote the exam.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, who released the 2019 KCSE exam results at the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) headquarters, Nairobi, yesterday, said there was significant improvement in performance this time round compared with the last three years, adding that the mission to slay the nagging dragon of cheating had largely been accomplished.

“We have managed to completely wipe out the cartels in the sector that leaked examinations year in, year out and restored the credibility of our national academic credentials,” the CS said.

Other top 10 performers are Moi High School Kabarak, which had 30 As, Alliance Girls with 27, Maryhill Girls 25, Maseno School 23, Nairobi School which had 23 As, Mang’u High which also 23 As while Moi Girls Eldoret was position 10 with 21 As.

The best candidate countrywide is Buluma Tony Wabuko of Kapsabet Boys, having attained a mean grade of A with a score of 87.159.

Barasa Maryanne Njeri from Kenya High was second with a score of 87.087, followed by Aboge David Odhiambo of Kapsabet Boys who scored 87.080 points.

Other top 10 candidates who scored A (plain) were Antony Owuor Ochieng’ (Maseno School), Mathuri Natasha Wawira (Kenya High), Kizito Ezra Sikuta (Moi High School, Kabarak), Long’ali Chepengat (Alliance Girls), Ndathi Hellen Njoki (Kenya High), Siele Chelang’at Aileen (Moi Forces Academy, Lanet) and Laura Chelangat Ruto (St Brigit Kiminini).

There was also the top 10 overall under 16 years old candidates who scored A (plain). Leading the team was Kizito Ezra Sikuta (Moi High School Kabarak), Chepkemoi Keyline (Moi Tea), Njuguna Winnie Wanjiku (Kenya High), Kore Rutto Dancan (Maranda), Wambugu Tracey (Maryhill), Maina Faith Njoki (St Mary’s Girls Igoji), Marion Effie Naikena (Kipsigis Girls) and Mwema Moses Kyama (Alliance).

Iran Joshua Saitoti (Nyeri Baptist) and Mugo Staicy Nelima (Pangani) were among the 10 under 16 years old students and scored A- (minus).

Magoha said the setting, administration and marking of the 2019 examination was professional. 

“I can look at every Kenyan’s face and assure them that I will never prefect a system that is not credible... It must remain flawless and we must systematically and meticulously tick every box there is to be ticked to ensure utmost precision in awarding grades to our candidates,” he said.

He said from the onset of the 2019 KCSE, no form of examination leakage was reported.

The number of candidates attaining the highest overall mean grade A (plain) in the KCSE exam rose from 315 candidates last year to 627 this year.

More females

Similarly, the number of candidates attaining a mean grade of A- (minus) shot up to 5,796 from 3,417 in 2018.

The number of candidates who attained the minimum university entry grade of C+ (plus) and above rose from about 90,000 last year to 125,746 this year.

Seventeen counties had more female candidates than males, compared to 18 counties in 2018.

They include Meru, Vihiga, Kiambu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nyandarua, Tharaka Nithi, Kisumu, Uasin Gishu, Murang’a, Machakos, Kitui, Taita Taveta, Makueni, Kirinyaga, Kakamega, Kwale, and Nandi counties.

A total of 1,672 candidates with special needs sat the 2019 KCSE exam compared to 1,499 last year, with the highest number of candidates with special needs comprising those who were physically impaired (651).

“Four candidates in this category scored a mean grade of A- (minus) with 127 scoring a mean grade of C+ (plus) and above. Clearly, given a good environment, learners with special needs can excel in examinations,” the CS said.

Unlike last year, Pangani Girls which produced the best candidate did not feature anywhere among the top 10 schools.

Other schools in the top 20 list last year were Light Academy, Maseno School, Alliance Girls High School, Mang’u High School, Moi Girls School Nairobi, Nakuru High School and Precious Blood Riruta.

On subject performance, 16 subjects recorded a significant improvement in performance, compared to 14 subjects last year.

Improved subjects

Eleven subjects recorded a decline in performance this year compared with 12 last year and there was no significant change in performance in three subjects.

“I particularly wish to mention English, Kiswahili, Chemistry, Biology and Physics as some of the critical subjects where performance significantly shot up in 2019 compared with 2018,” the CS said.

Performance by gender indicates that female candidates performed better than their male counterparts in eight subjects namely, English, Kiswahili, CRE, Home Science, Art and Design, German and Kenya Sign Language.

“That the overall performance of candidates has been improving since we reformed the system of administering the examinations means candidates have settled down to working hard on their own – under the leadership of teachers to prepare for examinations,” said Magoha.

A special mention was made of students who score 200 marks and below in KCPE but registered remarkable performance in KCSE.

“ Some families marry off girls who score such marks, while some boys are sent to menial jobs on the grounds that they are academic dwarfs,” the CS said.

An analysis of how individual candidates who scored as low as 177 marks ended up scoring top grades in KCSE, said Magoha, is a story of  hope and encouragement.

Among those who had remarkable performance were Kinyua Milka Wanjiru who scored 179 marks in KCPE and had a B- (minus) in KCSE, Munyoki Mwikali who had 199 marks and also scored a B- (minus), Sharon Cheopkoech with 169 marks but scored C+ (plus) while Mbugua Macharia scored C (plus) and had 169 in KCPE.

The candidates beat the odds despite having attended little known schools.

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