Double victory for Alliance as it tops schools ranking

Alliance High School was crowned the best performer in last year’s Form Four exams, whose results were released Monday.


It scored a double by producing the best candidate nationally, Tom Wanderi King’ori, who had a performance index of 87.110.

The last time it topped the charts was in 2010, while last year it was second to Moi High School, Kabarak.

Releasing the results in Nairobi, Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi named Moi High School Kabarak, the second best with a mean performance index of 79.862. In the third place was Precious Blood, Riruta, which had 79.604, followed by Kapsabet Boys, ranked fourth with 79.062.

Fifth was Maseno School, obtaining a performing index of 78.701. In the previous year, Maseno hit the headlines when it produced the top candidate, Tony Edgar.

Other schools listed among the top 10 were: Molo Academy (6), Strathmore (7), Chavakali (8), Maryhill Girls High School (9) and The Kenya High (10).

In terms of candidates ranking, the following were the top 10: King’ori Tom Wanderi, position one, Obiero Aloo Shem (2), Angela Nzisa Kivuva of Moi High School, Kabarak (3), Norah Borus Chelegat of Precious Blood (4), Brian O. Osoro of Nairobi School (5), Benson Mokogi Motonya of Chavakali (6), Calvin Mwadime Makokha of Nairobi School (7), Fidel Gwala Odhiambo of Maranda (8), Brenda J. Biwott of The Kenya High (9) and Joseph L. Okonda of Alliance (10).

It was Kapsabet, Chavakali, Molo Academy and Muranga High that stole the show, emerging from obscurity to register sterling performances.

Suffering a major setback was Maranda High School, a perennial top performer, which was not ranked this time around as 25 computer studies candidates were penalised for cheating.

Even so, it produced the second best student, Obiero Aloo Shem, who had a performance index of 86.994, and two others were ranked among the top 100.

Alliance High School had the largest number of candidates, 22, among the best 100 and was followed by Maseno, which had 11.

Moi High School Kabarak, had eight as Kisii High School posted seven and Nairobi School six.

Big names such as Starehe, Mang’u, Lenana, Friends Kamusinga, Pangani and Bahati that used to dominate the charts were pushed back as new stars emerged.

The new entrants were Molo Academy ranked sixth, Chavakali, which was ranked eighth nationally with a candidature of 287, Murang’a High (11), St Anthony’s Boys High School, Kitale (13), Annestar Boys High School, Lanet (14) and Pioneer (15).

Another highlight of the results was the rising cases of exam cheating. Some 3,353 cases of exam cheating were recorded last year in 41 counties, a marked increase from previous years.

In 2012, there were 1,700 cases and in 2011, there were 2,927.

More disturbing was the fact that national schools and even more established county schools were involved in the crime.

CHEATS

Only seven out of the 47 counties were free of exam cheats.

“Despite the raft of measures put in place by the Education Ministry and the Kenya National Examination Council to stamp out examination irregularities, I am saddened that the vice still continues,” said Prof Kaimenyi.

Exam cheats used mobile phones, others sneaked in notes and in some cases, teachers colluded with supervisors and assisted candidates to answer the questions.

To tackle the crime, Prof Kaimenyi said the ministry will enforce a new exam law that bars a candidate caught cheating from sitting any Knec examinations for three years.

He also announced a raft of policy measures, including outlawing underage candidates from sitting either Standard Eight or Form Four examinations.

Henceforth, only those who have attained ages 13-14 will be registered for Standard Eight exams and at Form Four, they will have to be 17 or 18.

“The policy on school enrolment of children as stipulated in the Basic Education Act requires that children are enrolled in Standard One at the age of six, which means that they take KCPE and KCSE examination at ages 14 and 18 respectively,” he said.

Prof Kaimenyi also used the occasion to articulate some broad education policies, key among them use of local languages to teach those in lower primary, saying that this was an old practice and was meant to assist learners, not schooled in English to comprehend new concepts.

Gender disparities were more glaring this time around in the performance. Fewer girls than boys made it to the stars’ list.

Less than 20 girls were counted among the 100.

Girls did better than boys in only eight out of the 31 subjects on offer, among them English, Kiswahili, CRE, Art and Design, music and Kenyan Sign Language.

Regional disparities also continued, with Coast and North Eastern regions with hardly a candidate in the top 100, a major performance concern.

In terms of subjects, 14 out of 31 offered for the exams recorded improved performances, including Kiswahili, Biology, Physics, History and Government, CRE and Business Studies. In contrast, 10 subjects recorded poor performance, including English, Mathematics, Chemistry, Geography and Agriculture.

The worst was English, a fact Prof Kaimenyi attributed to increased use of Sheng and corruption by SMS language, beloved of young people.

Experts, however, have noted that the integration of English and literature has compromised teaching of the language, hence the declining performance.

In total, some 446,696 candidates sat the exams in 7,606 centres compared to 436,349 candidates in 2012.

Out of this, some 123,365 attained grade C+ and above, which qualifies them for university admission.

Of that lot, 2,722 scored grade A, up from 1,975 in 2012. At the tail end were 141,012 candidates who scored grades D and below, meaning they cannot pursue higher education.

In the previous year, 123,704 qualified with the C+ grade. Not all qualifiers are admitted to university as only about 30 per cent get places on degree courses every year.

Speaking at the function, the chief executive of the Kenya National Examination Council, Mr Paul Wasanga, said registration of the 2014 KCPE and KCSE candidates will end on March 31.

This was in response to concerns expressed in the past that the deadline had been pushed forward as the registration started in third term 2013.


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