Academies tighten Top 100 grip

Tuesday December 28 2010

PHOEBE OKALL | NATION Nairobi’s top girl, Winnie Gatiria Matumo (centre), of The Marion Schools in Kahawa West celebrates with school staff at the school on Tuesday.

PHOEBE OKALL | NATION Nairobi’s top girl, Winnie Gatiria Matumo (centre), of The Marion Schools in Kahawa West celebrates with school staff at the school on Tuesday.  

By JOHN NGIRACHU [email protected]

Private primary schools continued their dominance of the top places at the expense of public schools in this year’s examination.

Of the 121 pupils in the top 100 positions nationally, only 26 (21 per cent) were from public schools.

There are 121 candidates in the top 100 because of the large number that scored the same marks. Position 95 has 28 candidates with 422 marks out of a possible 500.

Nyahururu’s Elite Junior Academy, Fred Academy in Meru and Nyeri Good Shepherd Academy had four candidates each in the top 100.

Bethlehem Academy in Ruiru, Set Greenhill Academy and Gilgil Hills Academy produced three candidates each on the list of best performers.

The gulf between private and public schools has in the past led to calls for changes to the system for selecting of form ones.

Form One selection does not take into account whether a candidate attended a private school — usually better-equipped and the domain of well-to-do families — or a public school — with typically larger classes and fewer facilities — leading to calls for a quota system.

Private schools are also often accused of drilling their students in order to attract more students.

Currently, each of the 18 national schools are required to select a set number of Form One students from each district.

Of the public schools, Hill School in Eldoret produced the largest number of students, seven, in the top 100 performers, with Moi Nyeri Complex producing two.

The rest produced one each, continuing a trend that existed even before the introduction of Free Primary Education in January 2003.

Before then Kibera Olympic used to be in the list of best performing schools often producing a large number of the top candidates.