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Academic giants in Nyanza roar back to life after years in the cold

Kisii school teachers carry their principal Fred Mogaka shoulder high after they attained a mean score of 9.1 in KCSE results. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Nyanza’s academic top guns bounced back in style and registered exemplary results as small schools joined the celebration party after recording good performance in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam.

A celebratory mood engulfed traditional educational powerhouses Nyambaria National School, Maseno School, Mbita High School, Cardinal Otunga Mosocho, Sawagongo, Maranda High School as well as several little-known schools.

A number of the academic giants that have been struggling in the past were the toast of the region after making a comeback and sending a majority of their candidates to the university.

In the region, Nyambaria Boys National School made a formidable comeback after years in the cold by registering an aggregate mean of 10.89.

The school located in Nyamira floored other powerhouses, including Maseno, which registered a mean score of 9.66 and Sironga Girls that got 10.2.

Cardinal Otunga Mosocho School, which has been missing from the limelight in the last couple of years, also bounced back in style. 

In the 2022 KCSE exam results, the school recorded a mean score of 10.76, with all the 330 candidates getting direct university entry points.

Long wait

The school’s Chief Principal Chispinus Owino said the performance was as a result of patience, teamwork and hard work: “This is not a mere achievement; it has been a long wait getting the school to regain its lost glory.”

The development was a sharp contrast to the last time the results were announced where a majority of the traditional success stories remained closed after their results dipped.

In Kisii South, St Paul’s Igonga Secondary floored several giants in the region to post a mean of 10.24. The school’s lowest grade was a B-plain, with all the 118 candidates qualifying to join public universities.

Mobamba Secondary School in Nyaribari Masaba had a mean grade of 9.284 up from 5.118 in 2021. The school had all the 348 candidates attain direct university entry grades.

The school Principal Dr George Ogochi said the mean grade was achieved through hard work and teamwork: “I came here in May last year and decided to work on each student’s capability.”

In Siaya County, Sawagongo, another top performer, roared back to life with a mean of 9.6. The school muscled its way past traditional powerhouse Maranda, which had a mean of 9.5 points.

Maranda’s university transition stands at 93.7 per cent, with 567 students gaining direct entry to university.

Peter Ochieng, Maranda’s Director of Studies, said they believe they will even do better this year. The school has registered 600 students.

“We are happy our boys have done us proud with over 350 students getting B+ and above. We had a positive deviation of 0.4 points and for us the sky is the limit. We are targeting even more this year,” said Ochieng.

Toast of the region

In Homa Bay, Mbita High school, Agoro Sare and Orero Boys were among the toast of the region after their students excelled. Mbita Boys had a mean of 9.2 points, with 15 students scoring plain As.

Principal Kennedy Ojijo said hard work was the secret to their success.

“Our teachers completed the syllabus in time and students were also dedicated to their studies. We thank God for blessing our efforts,” Mr Ojijo said.

Orero Boys that got a shock last year after its results were temporarily held by KNEC was in celebrations after scoring a mean grade of 9.9.

Principal Dickens Bula said they had hoped of getting good results.

At Asumbi Girls High School, five candidates scored A plain.

Principal Linet Sati said they were still retrieving the results as she expressed hope of good performance.

In Kisumu, Maseno School was among the excellent performers, with over 48 candidates scoring A-plain.

The school’s deputy principal in charge of academics Peter Nyawach said they had registered 552 candidates for the exam and at least 133 candidates scored A- (minus).

“We had a slightly big number of candidates of 552 this year compared to 547, and I am glad to say that we are happy as teachers that our students have performed better than last year,” Nyawach said. 

Nyawach said the school had a positive deviation of 0.8 after achieving a mean score of 9.66 compared to last year’s 8.88.

Nyawach said three of their top candidates scored a mean grade of 84 points and 45 candidates got between 83-80 points. 

He attributed the good results to hard work, teamwork, dedicated teachers, parents and disciplined candidates and calmness even during turbulence. 

In Migori, Kanga High School topped the county with a mean grade of 9.24. But it was not just the day for the traditional bigwigs alone; little-known schools also registered exemplary results and trounced some of the big names.

In Migori, little-known Abwao Secondary School scored a mean grade of 9.07, an improvement from a mean of 7.1 last year.

The school’s principal Jackton Onyango said they had set a target of 8.1 but were grateful to have performed beyond their expectations.

“We are happy that we have managed to go beyond the target. We have worked as a team and that is why we are here celebrating,” Mr Onyango said.

He said that their success came despite facing challenges such as lacking a dining hall and a fully-equipped laboratory.

The school, which had 133 candidates, have managed to take 132 boys to university.

He said teamwork and discipline helped them excel.

Samuel Maisiba, who topped the school with an A-minus, said he had expected to get a B+.

“It was not easy but with the support of our parents and teachers and their encouragement we are here celebrating,” Maisiba said.

He dreams of becoming an engineer just like his father.

St Celestino Nyangubo Girls Secondary School also registered an improvement after it scored a mean grade of 5.580 up from the 2.317 in 2021.

In Gusii, newcomers Kianungu Mixed Secondary and Nyakeore Mixed Secondary School stunned usual academic giants to claim spot in the circles of best performers.

Kianungu had a mean grade of 8.5 while Nyakeore recorded a mean of 7.3. Kebirigo Boys High School recorded a mean of 8.8.

Nyabisase Secondary and Ibacho Secondary posted a mean score of 8.025 and 7.03, respectively. Sameta High School also made a comeback, posting a mean grade of 8.6. Riokindo Boys posted a mean of 7.83 while St Charles Lwanga Inchuni scored a mean 6.3. Kiage Tumaini Boys High School in Kisii Central posted a mean grade of 9.3.

St Thomas Moore Riangombe moved from a mean grade of 3.71 in 2021 to 7.1 in 2022. School Principal Jared Monyanche said the results will uplift morale among other students.

“We have made it under extreme conditions. This is a community school with 99 per cent of students coming from the locality,” he said.

[Clinton Ambujo, Eric Abuga, Anne Atieno, Washington Onyango, Stanley Ongwae and Olivia Odhiambo]