By Sam Otieno

In keeping with the national trend, private schools continued to dominate the top 100 positions in the KCPE examinations.

This has raised alarm over the quality of education in public schools.

Dr Andrew Rasugu, an education analyst at the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research attributed the trend to large populations in public schools.

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"Large population of pupils in classrooms is impacting on academic performance in public schools," he said.

Rasugu said private schools were better equipped with facilities and resources compared to public schools.

Education system

He said the education system had reduced learning to an exercise of merely passing exams, hence schools ended up coaching students to pass examinations.

"This scenario can not work in public schools where the student, teacher ratio is far apart," he said.

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He said majority of Kenyans could not afford private school fees.

According to Mr Paul Wasanga, the Secretary and Chief Executive Officer at the Kenya National Examinations Council, private schools were prepared to go the extra mile to ensure pupils performed well.

Wasanga said parents whose children are in private schools were prepared to invest in resources and facilities unlike public schools.

He also attributed the sterling performance of private schools to their tendency of admitting few candidates who then receive maximum attention from teachers.

Mr Cleophas Tirop, the chairman of the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association added that morale of teachers was low in public schools.

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Eextra mile

"Private schools go the extra mile to put up resources on the ground and thus the two categories can not be compared," he said.

Tirop said the free primary education funds often delayed causing a setback for learners. Private schools stole the show to post exemplary results.

Private schools in Naivasha and Molo dominated top positions in Rift Valley. In Nyeri, schools that produced pupils in the top 100 include Mt Kenya Academy, Nyeri Good Shepherd and Queen of Peace School.