Less than a quarter of students in national school qualify for university

Alliance High School staff and teachers celebrate after the school produced 48 A's. [David Gichuru/Standard]

National schools produced less than a quarter of the candidates who qualified for admission to university, according to this year’s KCSE exam results.

Only 20,482 students who sat the 2019 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations in national schools have qualified to join university. This accounts for a paltry16 per cent of the students who scored entry grades for university education.

The total number of students who qualified for direct entry into university by scoring C+ and above is 125,749.

Results that were released by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha yesterday indicate that 47,949 students from extra county schools scored a grade of C+ and above, producing the highest number of students with direct university entry grades.

There has always been a scramble for slots in national schools that are thought to post higher grades compared to extra county, county and sub-county schools.

Some of the best performing extra county schools include Aquinas High in Nairobi, which had the best performing candidate with special needs. Shamalla Collins scored A- of 81 points at the city-based school.

Other popular extra county schools in Nairobi are Ngara Girls, State House Girls, Uhuru Secondary School and Precious Blood, Riruta.

There are 10,289 schools in Kenya including 103 national schools, 734 extra county and 1,412 county schools. There are also 6,467 sub-county institutions, 10,289 private schools and 34 special ones distributed across the country.

In a shocking twist, Magoha revealed that students who scored less than 200 marks in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations and proceeded to county and sub-county schools posted exemplary results in the 2019 KCSE exams.

“Parents flock to top national schools to seek admission for top KCSE candidates. On the contrary, we sneer at and express all forms of contempt at the candidates who score 200 marks and below… Today, I wish to debunk these myths,” said Prof Magoha.

According to Magoha, parents scramble for slots in national schools and to have the top performing pupils admitted while county and sub-county schools are left for those who perform poorly in KCPE.

At 30,162, sub-county schools produced the second highest number of students who will be joining university, outperforming county schools that produced 16,895 grades with C+ and above.

From private schools, 10,258 students managed to score C+ and above.

Magoha expressed confidence that the examination system had restored the credibility of the country’s national academic credentials. He said the examination system ensured only top performers joined university.

The number of students who qualified for direct university entry doubled from the 90,377 scored C+ and above last year.