National schools with D students

Seven national schools performed so poorly in KCSE that their average grade is below the mark required for admission to public universities.

In one school, all the 96 candidates got an average of a D plain. This means it was outperformed even by district schools.

Based on the results of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam results released on Monday, all the seven schools recorded a mean grade of C plain. The minimum mean grade needed to join university is C+.

However, a handful of candidates from these schools could have scored university qualifying grades.

The Ministry of Education gave Sh25 million to all newly-established national schools last year to prepare them for their new status through purchase of adequate equipment and expansion of classrooms.

The elevated schools were selected on the basis of their past performance when they were classified as county schools. Some of them regularly hit a mean grade of C+ and above in past KCSE exams.

According to the latest results, NEP Girls High in Garissa was the worst performing national school, in which all its 96 candidates had an average of D plain of 19.7 points.

By contrast, the best national school, Alliance High School, had an average of 81.78 or an average grade A-. This means, on average, that the school will send all its 276 candidates to university, and all of them qualify for the most competitive degree programmes.

So low was NEP’s mean grade that even if it had been a district school, it would not have made it to the list of top 100 district schools in the country.

Shimo La Tewa's Worst Performance

According to the results released by Prof Jacob Kaimenyi, the 100th best district school, Nyalkinyi Mixed in Homa Bay, had a mean grade of C+ or 47.5 points, more than double that of NEP Girls.

At the Coast, former giant Shimo La Tewa recorded one of its worst performances ever, posting a mean grade of C plain.

The school, which was upgraded to national status about two years ago, used to be the best in the Coast region.

Other national schools whose mean grades were below the minimum university entry average included Narok’s Kilgoris Boys, which attained a C plain of 43.2 per cent; Garissa High (C-), Moi Girls Secondary — Marsabit (D+) and Isiolo Girls (D).

Although Chavakali, Murang’a and Trans Nzoia’s St Brigids Kiminini were ranked top 10 among national schools, the newly established schools failed to compete with the older and more established institutions in that category.

The older national school ranked lowest was Lenana, at position 23 out of 74 schools, although it had an impressive mean grade of B+.

All the remaining positions through to 74 were occupied by newer schools, indicating that most of them found the competition at that level tough.

Besides the poor performers, four national schools, including Maranda, were not ranked after they were involved in cheating.

A total of 3,353 candidates had their examination results cancelled over cheating. (READ: Meru leads list of KCSE exam cheats)

Releasing the results, Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi warned schools, especially the national ones, against cheating.

"I wish to pass a strong warning to schools and especially national schools that involve themselves in examination irregularities despite their advantaged position of having the brightest minds and the best teaching and learning facilities that cheating in examinations will not be tolerated and will be dealt with firmly," he said. - The Nation, March 6 2013.

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