What went wrong with top schools?
THE newly elevated national schools are threatening the academic dominance of the 18 traditional national schools.
Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association Chairman, John Awiti, attributes the fading of the academic giants to the elevation of 60 provincial schools to national status.
"The newly elevated schools and the former national schools have twice benefited from Sh25 million grant from government to upgrade their facilities although the latter retained their environment," Awiti said.
Educationist John Mugo agrees with Awiti saying that the elevated schools can now also choose brilliant students to join Form One.
"These means the former national schools have to work hard to survive," said Mugo.
Kenya Private Schools Association CEO, Peter Ndoro, said the official support for public primary candidates joining secondary schools has also affected the academic giants.
"They were used to picking the best without imposition by government," he said.
He added that next year might be even worse for the historical giants because they have not yet adapted to taking less high-achieving students from public primary schools.
"They are admitting less vibrant students from public schools who require greater attention and guidance. This has affected their early completion of the syllabus," Ndoro said. He asked parents
to demand more from the academic giants.
According to the just released KCSE 2013, only Alliance High School, a traditional national school, saved face by providing the top student Tom Wanderi King'ori and Joseph Okonda at position ten in the top 10.
Maseno School was number five without a candidate in top 10, but managed to have a best performing candidate in Sylvester Nyerere at position 15.
Another good performer in the past, Maryhill Girls High School Thika came ninth while Kenya High School at number 10 produced Brendah Biwott at position 9 in top ten candidates.
Kapsabet Boys and Chavakali High School forced their way alongside Molo Academy a private school in the new top 10 group.
The renowned Starehe Boys Centre dropped to position 17 compared to position 8 in 2012 while Alliance Girls dropped to 25 from 6.
Nairobi School placed at 12, Loreto High School Limuru 21, Starehe Girls’ Centre 22, Moi Girls’ High School- Eldoret – 24, Mangu High School 26, Nakuru Girls High School 27, Utumishi Boys Academy 32, Nakuru High School 38, Limuru Girls’ School 40, Lenana School 42, Moi Forces Academy 85 and Moi Forces Academy Lanet 88.
The Star - March 5th 2014