Alliance tops in Kenya
Alliance High School students celebrating Tuesday after they conquered the rest of the country in the KCSE examinations.
By Sam Otieno and Dorothy Otieno
Alliance High School took the biggest number of slots of top performers in the top 100 positions of the 2009 Kenya
TOP BOY NATIONAL David Gathuku from Mang'u School new KCSE champ with 87.26857
Central Kenya's Mang'u High School's Master David Ndung'u Gathuku is the national champion of last year's Form Four examinations.
The best girl in the examination was Grace Wambui Njung'e of Rift Valley's Moi Girl's High School, Eldoret, who scored 87.16014 and was ranked 11 nationally.
Gathuku had a mean score of 87.26857, and was followed by Maseno School's Trevor Mokaya Omangi who had a mean score of 87.25143. The top score was a slight improvement over last year's best mark of 87.26757 by Alliance School's Mark Nyauma Maugo.
Njung'e was followed by Eastern Province's Precious Blood Secondary School, Kilungu, girl, Doris Mbabu Mwendwa who was ranked 13, with a mean score of 87.15414. It was a dismal performance for girls as boys literally ran away with the top ten slots nationally.
"I became more serious when I got into high school," said Gathuku who was ranked 18 nationally, in KCPE four years ago.
"I am very happy that my prayers for David have been answered," said Gathuku's mother Teresia Nyambura. She added: "We had a lot of hope in him and he has not disappointed us.
" Switching places from the previous year, Alliance High had 19 candidates, and Nairobi's Starehe Boys Centre 11. In the 2008 Form Four examination Starehe had 24 candidates and Alliance 15.
"This is unbelievable. Who ever thought something good would come out of Dandora?
This is all God's miracles," said top girl Wambui's mother Jemimah Wairimu as tears streamed down her face.
TOP GIRL NATIONAL Grace Njung'e from Moi Girls Eldoret queen of KCSE with 87.16014
Wairimu, a casual labourer who cleans clothes, was overwhelmed by the media attention and could not hold her tears back as she praised God. She wished her triumphant daughter, who was away on Christian mission in Embu was home. The Standard caught up with Wambui in Kuriri in Embu where she was on a two week Christian Evangelism mission with the African Inland Church.
"The news came as a shock and I thank God for everything. I did not expect to perform this well although I was a good student," said Wambui. Announcing the results at the Kenya Institute of Education, Education Minister Sam Ongeri said there was an overall improvement of 24.27 per cent over the previous year.
The minister linked the good performance to improved discipline in most schools. "Teaching and learning is no longer being interrupted in many schools since the students have realised indiscipline, rioting, and burning of schools is a waste of time and resources," said Prof Ongeri. A total of 337,404 sat for KCSE, last year, compared to 305 candidates in 2008.
Reports from the examiners in last year's examination indicate poor performance by some schools was due to overstretching of a few teachers. There is also over-distribution of the few available mathematics and science teachers across the country. The minister promised to rectify the anomaly next year.
The number of candidates who took examinations in hospital rose to 115, from 80 in 2008. He said the main reason being admission in maternity wings following sexual molestation. "We will not spare any effort to deal with errant teachers involved in this," he said.
Ongeri said while there was improvement in the overall performance, the ministry had outlined several strategies to ensure better quality. Some of the action points will include improving secondary school science laboratories through targeted grants for construction and equipment, institutionalisation of in-service training to upgrade skills of science and mathematics teachers, provision of capacity building for field officers and head teachers and recruitment of more quality assurance officers.
The Government will also conduct skills upgrade courses for teachers involved in subjects in which students perform poorly, improve accountability and mainstream the use of computers in secondary education.
Girls' performances plummeted, with no girl featuring in the top 10 nationally, with only 27 in the top 100.
But girls dominated in only Coast and Eastern provinces, with Bahati Girls, Nakuru, leading in Christian Religious Education.
Moi Girls Eldoret did its best to salvage the reputation of girls by not only placing six candidates among the top 100 performers, but also dominating the top 100 in Rift Valley.
Ongeri said 81,048 scored mean grade C+, the minimum university entry grade. This year the Joint Admissions Board selected 20,000 to join public universities.
Going by that number, over 60,000 are likely to miss admission to public universities. Announcing the intake of candidates who sat KCSE in 2008 JAB said next year's cut-off point will be 65 down 66, this year.
Last year, female candidates with C+ and above were 30,939 while the number was 28,339 in 2008. There was also a notable high performance
No girl made it into the top ten candidates and the minister said gender disparity was still a major concern, as he urged parents to keep their daughters in school.
Only Central Province had the highest number of girls at 51 per cent.
In subject performance, candi dates improved in 11 subjects, including English, Kiswahili Geography, History and Government, Home Science, Agriculture, Power Mechanics, Electricity, Computer Studies, French and German.
There was a remarkable drop in Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, CRE, IRE, Arts and Design and Business studies.
"Despite the drop in performance in mathematics and biology, the highest number of candidates attaining the distinction level (A-) was the highest," said Ongeri.
Ongeri added there was a general drop in performance in sciences, in spite of various interventions by the Government.
For the first time, Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) issued a list of shame bearing schools and districts that had candidates who engaged in examination irregularities. A total of 1, 106 candidates cheated in the examination down from 1,419 in 2008.
With regard to provinces, Central took the lion share among the top performers nationally with 32 candidates followed by Nairobi 24, and Rift Valley 20. Nyanza had 12, Eastern and Western three each, and North Eastern nil.
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