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Private schools take the lead as class gap widens

By WAINAINA NDUNG’U

The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination results released yesterday further highlighted the widening class divide in Central region.

In yesterday’s results, private schools dominated almost all the top five slots in Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri and Kirinyaga counties.

These schools also continued to produce the bulk of the top performers in the region while the public institutions dominated the bottom five positions.

The top performers in Kirinyaga County included Effort Junior, Kirinyaga Good Shepherd Academy, Kerugoya Municipality, Alber School-Kutus and Kutus Municipality, all with a mean score of more than 369 marks.

The worst public schools performers attained a mean score of less than 225 marks. These included Upper Baricho, Kagumo CCM, Kiabarikiri, Mukangu and Ngothi.

It was the same story in the other counties, with Kiambu’s top performers being Pleasant View Academy, Lily Academy, Josu Academy, Gacio Junior Academy, Limuru International School and the quasi-private Sukari Presbyterian Primary School.

Bottom performers

Only Sukari Presbyterian breaks the pattern of private schools reigning. But even this church-sponsored school located inside the affluent Kahawa Sukari Estate has elements of private education hardly affordable to the common mwananchi.

In Kiambu, bottom performers included Ruiru Adult Education Centre, Juja Farm, Athena – populated by children from the nearby Kiandutu slums – Karakuta, Gatune, Rwamburi and Gitithia primary schools, all managing mean scores of below 181 marks. Almost all the schools are in poor neighbourhoods.

By 2010, according to the now disbanded Central Provincial Director of Education (PDE) office, 19 per cent of pupils in the region were attending private primary schools.