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Special needs learners defy odds to shine

By People Team
Tuesday, April 20th, 2021
Shofco Kibera School community carry Michelle Nawire, who scored 410 marks in the KCPE exams. Photo/PD/Courtesy
In summary
    • According to Education CS George Magoha, 1,191,725 candidates sat for the exam that were held under strict Covid-19 protocols.
    • The number of candidates with special needs was higher in 2020  than in 2019.
    • The highest Special Needs candidate in the 2020 KCPE exam was Brandon Otundo from Set Greenhills Academy in Kisii who scored 420 marks.

Hundreds of needy and special needs students across the country had a reason to smile amidst the gloom of the Covid-19 pandemic after posting exemplary results in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination. 

Against all expectations, the overall performance in the examinations was good with a number of candidates scoring marks that would enable them secure positions at prestigious national schools, a move they described as a miracle. 

The prospect of being a special need pupil comes with its own challenges, as they have to toil and compete with normal students by choosing not to be distracted by the environment around them. 

Such a case is one of visually impaired pupil from Kangundo DEB Primary School in Machakos county, who beat all odds to emerge top of his class after scoring 409 marks.

15-year-old Kioko Joseph Kyalo was the only pupil at the integrated institution who managed to score 400 marks and above in the just released examinations. 

Speaking at the school yesterday, Kyalo said he has now set his sight on joining Thika Special School and later pursue his dream career of being an Aeronautical Engineer. 

Kyalo was also ranked 3rd nationally in the category of pupils with special needs.  

“Despite the many challenges that I faced including lack of necessary equipment, I worked hard and consulted my teachers to achieve my goal,” he said. 

Another slum school candidate in Mlolongo was among those celebrating after posting good results despite a myriad of challenges. 

Bosco Githinji celebrates with his daughter MaryAnn Njoki who scored 417 marks at Sheridan Academy in Kiganjo, Gatundu South. 
Photo/Oliver Musembi

Henry Ouma 14, from Mlolongo Excellent Stars Academy scored 413 marks topping his class that managed a mean score of 376 marks. 

“I did not expect to perform very well because we stayed at home for along time after the outbreak of Corona virus.

During that time learners from well off backgrounds were studying online. My parents and teachers encouraged me and built my confidence, “said Ouma. 

In Taveta sub county in Taita-Taveta county, a 13-year-old Tanzanian girl has emerged the top candidate in the recently announced KCPE results. 

Gloria Malindi was a candidate at Brighter Academy and scored 399 marks. She comes from Holili village in Tanzania and has been a learner at the institution since her pre-unit days. 

“Even us Tanzanian learners are capable of delivering good results.”

Malindi Merinyo, the girl’s father, said he was happy with his daughter’s results.

He added that he had opted to have his daughter study in Kenya because of “the superior quality of Kenyan education system.” 

Felled giants

The top student in Taita-Taveta county was a 14-year-old Timan Mwakio from Mwatate Junior Preparatory in Mwatate sub-county who scored 415 marks.

The school had a mean score of 361 with five candidates scoring more than 400 marks. 

“I am excited and hope to perform well in high school. I wish to be a lawyer,” he said. 

In Nairobi county, Shofco Kibera School was not left behind as most of its candidates performed exemplary.

Out of the top 100 candidates in Nairobi county, Shofcco’s two top girls Mellisa Chenziz and Michelle Nawire, who both scored 410 marks, were ranked seventh and eighth respectively in the capital and 52 and 53 nationally.  

Only Nairobi Primary School (five) and White Star Academy Lang’ata (three) had students in the top 10 list in Nairobi, meaning little-known Shofco felled giants such as Aga Khan Academy, Consolata School, The Arya Vedic School, Makini School and many others who have hogged the limelight over the years.   

Machakos county was among those topping the list with Kyandu Bright Academy, Jonazaria Academy, Early Bird School and Fullcare Academy gracing the golden top performers. 

Consolata Nduku and Jeremy Mulandi from the same school scored 419 and 406 marks respectively. 

The school had registered 88 candidates and posted a mean grade of 345 produced 15 candidates who scored above 390 marks. 

In Kiambu county, Githunguri Township Primary School emerged the best public school in the county in the recently released KCPE examination.

The school registered 111 candidates to sit the exam, 49 boys and 62 girls. Out of the number, 34 pupils scored 400 marks and above. 

Only one pupil scored less than 250 marks while only 7 missed the 300 mark. 

Other schools which posted impressive results included Limuru Town Primary School and Tigoni Primary which had a mean standard score of 337 and 344. 

In Kakamega, Khwisero MP Christopher Aseka has lauded the improved performance of schools in his constituency in the KCPE examination results.  

He said many schools in the constituency had recorded good performance despite Covid-19 pandemic and other challenges. 

In the neighbouring Busia county, despite producing the top girl during the 2019 KCPE from St Teresa Chakol Girls’ Boarding Primary School with 439 marks, the county failed to produce a candidate in the 10 top positions despite many candidates scoring 400 and above marks.  Reporting by Roy Lumbe, Gastone Valusi, Christine Musa, Clement Kamau, Dennis Lumiti, Henry Adanje and Wagema Mwangi