Most improved candidates wow minister, nation

Thursday, December 19th, 2019 12:30 | By
KICD chief executive Julius Jwan with Knut secretary general William Sossion at Mitihani House, yesterday. Photo/PD/John Ochieng

When Milka Wanjiru Kinyua scored 179 marks out of the possible 500 in her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam four years ago while the top candidate got 436 marks, she must have felt inadequate due to her dismal performance.

But yesterday, Wanjiru, who was admitted to Gathara Secondary School, a mixed day school in a remote village in Nyandarua county, earned recognition from Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha.

The candidate, who many in her village may have ridiculed, was ranked as the most improved candidate in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education  (KCSE) exam, which had 667,222 candidates.

According to the ministry, an analysis of candidates who scored below 200 marks in the 2015 KCPE exam, Wanjiru pulled a surprise by garnering a B minus in the results, which were released by the CS at Mitihani House, Nairobi.

The grade puts her among candidates who will get direct university admission.

The CS described Wanjiru’s story as one of extreme hope and encouragement, “especially coming in the face of the new government policy of allowing all candidates to join Form One irrespective of their score.

Debunk myth

 “This trend should give hope to our low KCPE performers that they have a chance to do much better at the KCSE level.

It also means that the government’s push for the 100 per cent transition policy from primary to secondary school makes a lot of sense,” Magoha said.

The minister said Wanjiru’s performance eliminates the myth that candidates who scored little marks are condemned and are failures in life, a perception that has seen some children commit suicide or forced to repeat classes.

“We sneer at and express all forms of contempt at the candidates who score 200 marks and below. We write them off from future academic excellence.

Some families marry off girls who score such low marks, while some boys are sent to menial jobs on the grounds that they are academic dwarfs. Today, I wish to debunk this outdated myth,”  he said.

 According to the ministry statistics, Munyoki Mwikali scored 179 marks in the primary school test, and joined Mama Malia, a private secondary school but scored a B minus in KCSE exam.

Sharon Cheopkoech, who went to Saire Secondary School after garnering 183 marks in KCPE exam scored a C + while Mbugua Macharia of Kiambaa Mixed Day Secondary School in Kiambu who had 169 marks  in KCPE got a similar grade.

Others include Joseph Mwangi of Mukui Day School in Kirinyaga (193 marks), Mureti Timothy from Kirindara School (194), Adam Jefa from Bakanja (199), Joseph Njuguna from Kinangop Gateway School (183), Peter Mugendi of Kathelwa Day School (192) and Omari Oriagi Raphael from Mokomoni who all scored C +.

Muchai Gachie who joined Nyakiambi Secondary School with 277 marks scored an A minus, Daniel Kombe (222) of Mitangani School) scored a B+.

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