Top national schools take lion’s share of slots in the public universities

Alliance, Kabarak, Maseno and Maranda are among top national schools that will send the highest number of candidates to public universities.

At Alliance, 166 candidates scored A plain, more than the total of some counties, especially those in arid and semi-arid areas.

Also topping in the number of candidates who obtained the top grade was Moi High School Kabarak where there were 126 A plains.

Nyanza’s Maseno and Maranda high schools had 106 and 136 candidates respectively scoring the A grade.

The selection of those who will join public universities from 2013 KCSE candidates started on Monday.

A minus category

Except for Maranda High School, which had more A minus grades than the A plains, all the other three top national schools had more candidates in the A plain category than the A minus.

Maranda had the highest number of students scoring A minus, with 153 students in this category. Alliance had 77 A minuses, Chavakali 89, Kabarak 87 and Maseno School 69.

Top girl schools battling for university slots include Kenya High, Mary Hills, Precious Blood Riruta and Alliance Girls.

In grade A plain, Kenya High secured 56, Mary Hills had 50, Precious Blood Riruta 51 while Alliance Girls managed 44.

However, all these top girl schools had more of their top performers getting A minuses than A plain grade compared with the top boy schools.

Kenya High had 72 A minuses, Mary Hills 67, Precious Blood 54 and Alliance Girls 77.

Missing from the top schools list with high number of performers is Starehe Boys Centre, which had 43 A plains and 74 A minuses in last year’s KCSE examination.
Another top institution which will be competing for the top slots in the universities is Nairobi School which had 73 A plains and 106 A minuses.

Overall, Nakuru, Nairobi, Kiambu and Kakamega are among counties expected to send the highest number to public universities.

These counties produced the highest number of candidates with an average grade of B- (minus) and above in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam results released two months ago.

Cut-off points

Although candidates who scored C+ and above qualify to join universities, the cut-off for the regular programme in public universities has been set higher because of the limited number of spaces.

This year, candidates were given an opportunity to select their university courses after the results were announced.

In the past, candidates chose their preferred courses prior to sitting the exams, which means the 2013 class had the advantage of selecting courses based on their performance in last year’s KCSE.

Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) further relaxed the admission rules to enable candidates to secure their first choice courses.

The candidates have an option of choosing three institutions offering their first choice course, raising chances of landing their dream career.

This means, for instance, a student wishing to study medicine, as his or her first choice, will select three universities offering the programme, and if he or she misses a slot on the first, they will be considered in the next.

KUCCPS acting chief executive John Muraguri said candidates would only be placed on their second choice programme if they fail to qualify for the first option and if there are no vacancies in all the three institutions selected under the first option.

Mr Muraguri said the cut-off point would still be determined by available capacities.

Admissions, he added, would be based on merit and students’ preferred choices.


Meanwhile a section of education stakeholders at the Coast was Monday shocked that less than 10 per cent of students who sat last year’s KCSE examination qualified to join university.

In Mombasa County, of the 6,746 candidates who registered for the Form Four examination, only 1,259 scored grade C+ and above.

To improve performance, Mombasa education county executive Tendai Mtana said the county was focusing on learning outcomes instead of the traditional grading system.


“The education team now intends to produce job market-oriented graduates who can solve problems, think analytically, communicate effectively, read and comprehend, and have technical skills,” he said.

This, he said, would be achieved through specific interventions in Mathematics, Science, Kiswahili, English and life skills.

In the next financial year, there are plans to allocate a funds for the professional development of teachers and students in the subjects.

“Apart from this, the best student and teacher will be awarded Sh1 million each,” said Mr Mtana. “This year, the best student and teacher have already received their prizes.”

He said that of the 1,259 candidates who scored C+ and above, 923 would be admitted to institutions of higher learning.

In Kwale County, out of the 5,150 candidates who sat the exam, only 362 scored B- and above, which forms the university cut-off entry marks.

Speaking to the Nation, Kwale county education executive Mangale Chiforomodo said the results showed that there was a lot that needed to be done.

The official said he was confident that the performance of the county would improve since a number of measures had been taken to streamline the education sector.

The official said offering bursaries to students from poor families, improving infrastructure in schools and motivating teachers and students were some of the measures.

“We don’t have any other alternative but to improve our own systems, even if there is no specific budget set aside for us. As a government, we shall play our part,” added Mr Chiforomodo.
Join university

Kwale County Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers executive secretary Tuki Mackenzie stressed the need to explain to students and the public the importance of education.

Mr Mackenzie said lack of knowledge on the importance of education had made many students from the county fail to have the zeal to study hard and go to university.

Kilifi County Education Board chairman Gabriel Katana termed the 598 candidates likely to be selected to join university as a small fraction of the students from the region.
- Daily Nation, Tuesday May 201, 2014

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