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Why no Kenyan child is limited

Education CS George Magoha during the release of the KCSE 2019 results at KNEC Headquaters, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina/Standard]

Education CS George Magoha yesterday recognised candidates who scored below 200 marks in the 2015 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams but went on to score above grade C+ four years later.

Releasing this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results, Magoha paid tribute to Kinyua Milka Wanjiru, who joined Gathara Secondary School after scoring 179 marks in KCPE and ended up scoring grade B- four years later.

The CS said this solidified the fact that students can perform well despite their KCPE grades.

Prof Magoha said the Education ministry has been struggling to debunk the myth that academic giants can only be built in top national schools.

He cited cases of parents who flock national schools to seek admission while overlooking sub-county schools, where most of the most of this year’s most improved candidates were registered.

He expressed concern that candidates deemed to be good performers were carried shoulder high, while those who scored low marks are sneered upon and written off from 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 Today, I wish to debunk this outdated myth,” said Magoha.

Besides Milka, other students who were mentioned among the best improved included Munyoki E Mwikali from Mama Malia Secondary, who scored 199 in KCPE and posted B- in KCSE, and Sharon Cheopkoech who scored 183 marks in KCPE and C+ in KCSE at Saire Secondary School.

Mbugua R Macharia who posted 169 marks in KCPE ended up scoring grade C+ at Kiambaa Mixed Secondary School while Joseph Mwangi who scored 193 in KCPE scored C+ at Mukui Secondary School.

Magoha also cited a case of a student who scored below 280 marks in KCPE but is among those who scored grade A in this year’s KCSE.

Uplifting trend

“This trend should give hope to our low KCPE performers that they have a chance to do 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,” he said.

For 18-year-old Milcah Wanjiru, scoring 179 marks in her KCPE almost killed her hopes of succeeding in life.

But she did not give up. Instead she pressured her mother to enrol her into Gathara Day Secondary School near her home in Kinangop.

Four years down the line, she is now the talk of Nyandarua County after she emerged one of the best improved students in the country with her mean grade of B-minus, and was feted alongside the country’s best KCSE students.

Yesterday, residents thronged her home in celebration and prayers.

“I chose to work hard and surprise everyone that everything is possible. I thank God that he has made this happen,” she said

Wanjiru said that her trick to success was avoiding the wrong company and obedience. “I kept bad company aside and instead chose to study hard. There were times that I did not sleep and instead kept on revising” she said.

She admitted that she had surprised herself, saying all she was aiming for was a grade that would help her enroll into a college. She scored more than that, and now hopes to pursue law.

Her parents, Elijah Kungu and Jane Nyaguthii, were all smiles with their daughter’s achievement.

“We heard her name being mentioned on radio and were all surprised. I promise to support her in all her dreams,” said her father.

Meanwhile, little known Kisima Mixed Secondary School in Nyahururu for the third time emerged among the best schools posting a mean score of 10.05 up from last year’s 9.5.

(Additional reporting by James Munyeki)

Related Topics

2019 KCSE results