2023 KCSE: Engineering and medicine are the stars' top choices

Education CS Ezakiel Machogu shares a light moment with PS Belio Kipsang and TSC CEO Nancy Macharia as he released the 2023 KCSE results at Moi Girls Eldoret on Jan 8, 2024. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Top students in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) have shared their dreams and aspirations as they prepare to join institutions of higher learning.

While some hope to join prestigious institutions of higher learning, others are exploring the prospects of pursuing elite courses to serve people.

The top candidate at Lenana School, Griffins Makari, says discipline, dedication, and sporting activity helped him to post sterling results. 

Makari,18, who scored 84 points, wants to be a surgeon, and he hopes to join Harvard University to make his dream a reality. 

Makari, who hails from Mumias East Constituency, Kakamega County, scored Straight As in Mathematics, English, Chemistry, Kiswahili, Physics, Biology, Computer and Geography. 

“Good results call for hard work and commitment. Better planning was key for my studies. I was studying to compensate for any lost time. I was in the field engaging in co-curricular activities, and it paid off,” said Makari. 

“In life, I love attempting things that look and people say are impossible. I know we have good universities in Kenya, but I want to go to Harvard to get new experience so I can come back home to serve my Kenyan people,” said Makari. 

Adrian Wenner, the top student at Maseno School with an A of 84 points, said his journey is a testament to the dedication of a young mind eager to save lives. He aspires to become a neurosurgeon.

Larry Mule was celebrated by teachers and parents at  Moi  High  School  Kabarak in Nakuru on January 8, 2024, after achieving an A Plain in the KCSE examinations. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

As the news of his outstanding performance spread like wildfire, Wenner took a moment to express his gratitude. 

He hopes to join University of Nairobi.

Another top performer, Paul Muchiri, was mostly out of school during his last year at Langalanga Mixed Secondary School in Nakuru due to ill health but still scored an A.

Muchiri said he was on medication daily and had to be injected once a month for over six months in 2023.

“I had chest problems, and it affected my functioning to the point that I had to miss school to go to the hospital,” said Muchiri.

He added that at times he felt tired and unsure of his future, but he pushed himself.

Muchiri said being in a day school was also a challenge.

“I had to wake up early and at times leave school at around 8.30pm or 9 pm to ensure I had extra time for studies,” he said.

He wants to be a cardiologist.

Maxwell Loyok, another top performer, scored an A of 83 points despite facing a school fees huddle.

His single mother, Elizabeth Akai, could not afford to pay his school fees when he was called to Nyandarua Secondary School four years ago.

Loyok, a 17-year-old from Maili Saba, sought help from his constituency, Bahati.

He got full sponsorship to enable him pay Sh53,554 fees per year.

“The sponsorship from the Constituency Development Fund catered for everything,” he said.

Loyok said he has never known his father, and at times, he lives with his grandmother, who stays in a servant quarter within Maili Saba, in Bahati.

He wants to join the University of Nairobi and pursue a Bachelor in Medicine (surgery).

Lewis Githinji of Kagumo High School in Nyeri, maintained his high performance by scoring an A- of 78 points.

Githinji said he feared that he would not maintain the kind of performance he achieved in primary school, where he scored 419 marks.

“The weight and standard I put on myself almost crushed me, but I tried my best. I want to pursue a career in medicine at the University of Nairobi,” he said.

At Chavakali Boys High School in Vihiga, the top boy’s wish is to study abroad in “the most prestigious universities”.

Allgrace Maloba, who scored an A plain grade, wishes to study software engineering at the top university in the US.

Maloba said he prefers to join Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a Cambridge-based institution that leads in the development of many areas of modern technology and science.

“My dream is to pursue a career in technology, and software engineering is my preferred field,” said Maloba.

Maloba’s only worry is how to secure financial assistance to achieve his dream abroad.

“I am currently applying for a scholarship, and if anyone can help me, I would be happy to go and do the course at MIT,” he said.

At the same school, another top performer, Amos Koech, who got an A wants to study Clinical Medicine at any prestigious international university or Moi University.

“I am also looking for sponsors who can help me achieve my dreams of studying medicine and helping my community,” said Koech.

The school principal, Edward Wachilonga, urged sponsors to come in and assist his school’s top performers in achieving their career dream courses.

Chavakali posted improved results, registering a mean score of 8.1 compared to last year’s 7.9.

The school had nine candidates with A while 48 others scored A-.

“We had a 79 per cent pass, meaning most of our students will be competing for lucrative courses,” said Wachilonga.

There was song and dance in most of the top schools in Vihiga County as they celebrated their impressive results in the 2023 KCSE.

Teachers of Mudasa Academy celebrate their performance of 10.4 points at the school compound as KCSE 2023 results were announced. [Michael Mute, Standard]

Bunyore Girls, Mudasa Academy, Chavakali Boys, Mbale Boys, and Vokoli Girls were among the top-performing schools in Vihiga County.

The top student at Mudasa was Adrian Ingaiza, who got a mean score of A-.

He attributed his good grades to resilience and hard work, combined with good guidance from the teachers.

The top performer wishes to study Computer Science course at Nairobi University.

“The results reflect the combined efforts of my teachers and classmates. I am seeking a scholarship that can enable me achieve my dreams at the university,” said Ingaiza.

Cassey Issah,  who sat his exam at St Peters Abwao and scored an A-, expressed his joy, saying he has achieved what he wanted to achieve.

The boy, who is among the top candidates in the school, urged other students to take their studies seriously.

“Fear God, respect your teachers and be disciplined. Work hard and smart,” Issah said.

He thanked his teachers and parents for their support.

Issah wants to become a doctor.

John Paul Nyabuto scored an A at Moi High School Gesusu in Kisii and hopes to pursue a career in surgery.

In 2020, as Covid-19 hit the country, his mother was admitted to one of the hospitals in Kisii battling cervical cancer.

He scored A in all the subjects except English where he scored a B+.

[Reporting by Daniel Chege, Eric Abuga, Brian Kisanji, Anne Atieno, Yvonne Chepkwony, Robert Amalemba and Washington Onyango]

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