School relies on technical subjects to boost performance

Kakamega High School Principal Oliver Minishi oversees the opening process of KCSE Chemistry theory examination papers at the institution on November 6. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The secret is out. Investing in technical subjects is what propels Kakamega High School into academic limelight.

Last year, the school emerged second in Kakamega County in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) with a mean score of 7.806, behind Booker Academy (8.52).

To register good results, Oliver Minishi, the school's principal, said the institution focuses on seven technical subjects that most schools in the region have shunned.

According to him, schools prefer to focus on ‘easy’ subjects as they target to perform better to outshine others in national examinations.

“Kakamega High School is the only school in this area offering Aviation, Power mechanics and Electricity as subjects. The school performs excellently in these subjects,” said Mr Minishi.

It offers Electricity, Power Mechanics, Aviation, Art and Design, Agriculture, Computer studies and Business studies as its key technical subjects.

In KCSE of 2016, the school recorded a mean of 11.910 in electrical studies, 10.860 in French, 10.170 in power mechanics, 9.930 in art and design, and 8.290 in aviation.

The principal opines that parents do not embrace the subjects since they want their children to study subjects that will offer them 'high paying' jobs.

“Kenyans have profiled technical subjects as subjects for failed institutions. Vision 2030 is anchored on technology and it is through technical subjects that we will be able to achieve it,” he said.

He added: “I studied electricity and I know its importance. There is need to support technical institutions so that we have more innovative people to drive our economy.”

The head teacher said discussions are ongoing to have Theatre and Performing Arts as part of the new curriculum.

“The curriculum is friendly to us because we have talent-oriented activities like drama, choir and sports. We take pride in such activities even though most schools focus on book work,” Minishi said.

The school, however, lacks enough teachers to teach the subjects because most students shun the courses at university level. Minishi is urging technical training colleges to train more students to enable schools get enough teachers.