Kapsabet Boys, Kenya High and Alliance High schools overcame all odds to post the most impressive results in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Education (KCSE) exams.
The schools outshone other academic giants to emerge the top three nationally, although the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) did not rank according to their performance, as they had promised some time back.
Other top-performing schools in the just-released results are Mang'u High, Moi High School Kabarak, Maranda High, Machakos Girls, Makueni Boys, Chianda High, Murang’a High, Aquinas High, Agoro Sare, Moi Girls, Nairobi and Friends Kamusinga.
Last year’s 747,161 KCSE candidates defied Covid-19 challenges, chief among them being out of school for nine months, and confounded critics to post improved results released yesterday.
Public schools outdid the private institutions in results that saw traditional giants bounce back.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha also listed some of the little-known schools that have recorded remarkable improvement by posting impressive results.
Kaaga Girls, St Joseph’s Kitale, Kisasi Secondary School, Oriwo Boys, Riokindo High, St Josephs Rapogi, Light Academy, Moi Gesusu High School and Saye Mixed Secondary School were given special mention for posting improved results.
Others are St Edward Nyabioto, Chuka Boys, Strathmore School, Bushra High and Mahiga Girls.
Magoha said these are schools that admitted Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) candidates with lower marks but scored good grades in the just released results.
Overall, all the top 15 candidates who scored the highest marks nationally were from public schools, signalling a major comeback of the government-funded institutions.
Kenya High School, with 294 candidates maintained its stellar performance, producing six candidates among the top 15 nationally.
“We have been praying to God, embraced teamwork and kept encouraging the girls that they can do it. We have also been receiving good support from parents and this helped us do well,” said Flora Mulayta, the school’s principal.
Murang’a High School produced the best student in the 2020 KCSE examinations. Simiyu Robin Wanjala scored 87.334 points to emerge top nationally.
This score is a slight improvement from last year’s, where the top candidate, Buluma Tony Wabuko of Kapsabet Boys High School posted 87.159 points to emerge as the best candidate nationally.
Wasonga Allan Udoma of Agoro Sare High School and Sharon Chepngeno Terer of Kenya High scored 87.173 points to tie at position two nationally.
Moriasi Bob Ongare of Alliance High scored 87.139 as Mbugua Esther Wachuchu of Kenya High managed 87.113 to close the top five best candidates nationally.
Kipkoech Mark Kogo of Alliance High scored 87.106 to emerge number six. Kenneth Oranga of Kapsabet Boys, Henry Madaga of Maranda High and Chepkorir Patience of Kenya High each scored 87.046.
Musomba Edith Kithei of Machakos Girls closed the top 10 best candidates category with 87.013 points.
Also appearing in the top list are Lesley Loise Wanjiku of Kenya High (86.999), Pile Ron George of Kapsabet Boys (86.970), Kiprono Howard of Maranda High (86.949), Jelimo Debrah (86.947) and Buluma Daizy Nerima (86.939), both of Kenya High.
Under the Special Needs Education category, Moi Girls Eldoret produced the top candidate with Kipkemboi Miriam Chepleting scoring 84.886.
Kisii High School produced the second-best special needs candidate with Getugi Edger Omoke scoring 83.566.
Nebert Nyariki Ongubo of Nyambaria High scored 81.414 to emerge third in the special needs category.
Victor Kiplangat of M-Pesa Foundation scored 80.386 as Warunge Prudence Nyambura of St Annes Secondary School managed 80.373 to close the top five best special needs candidates.
Other schools that produced top special needs candidates are Maranda High, Makueni Boys, Chianda High, Murang’a High, Aquinas High, Moi Girls Nairobi, Friends Kamusinga, and SA High School for the blind.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the results were a major improvement from the previous year.
“Despite the challenges that these students underwent, they still posted good results that we are proud of,” said Magoha.
Knec results show that the number of candidates with minimum university entry qualification of C+ and above rose to 143,140 in 2020 compared to 125,746 in 2019.
Magoha said some 893 candidates obtained an overall Grade A in the 2020 KCSE examination compared to 627 candidates in 2019.
Some 6,420 candidates scored A-, 14,427 managed B+, as 25,207 scored B and 38,194 managed B-.
“This is one of the clearest indicators that candidates have performed better in 2020 compared with 2019, the negative effects of Covid-19 notwithstanding,” said Magoha.
He said a total of 652 girls sat the examinations after giving birth.
“Counties that had the highest number of candidates who sat their examination in hospitals after delivery are Bungoma with 43, Meru with 38, Nakuru and Kisii with 36 each and Nandi with 31,” said Magoha.
The CS added, “We have noted that the number of cases of candidates sitting the examinations after delivery went up in 2020 showing that the long school closure due to Covid-19 may have driven our learners into many temptations at a time most households were facing enormous challenges.”
What is also worth noting is the major improvement of candidates who scored few marks in KCPE examinations but have now scored quality grades after four years in secondary schools. Magoha singled out Hassan Abdullahi of Wayam Secondary School who scored 168 marks in KCPE and has now managed B–.
Kipees Soimit Charity of Olderkesi Secondary scored 151 marks in KCPE but posted a C+ in KCSE.
And Abdullahi Daud Maalim of Ademasajida Mixed Day School who scored 137 in KCPE also managed a C+.
“These are candidates who have turned out from what many label KCPE ‘flops’ to KCSE stars. We must celebrate them and remind all Kenyans that no child is a failure,” said Magoha.
Magoha also said that underage candidates or those who are 16 years old posted impressive scores.
The candidates scored between 87.013 and 84.641 points to rank among the top candidates nationally.