Giants Moi High School Kabarak and Strathmore led the pack of the top 100 private schools nationally with a mean of 10.9942 and 10.9721 respectively.
The schools, however, rank behind the top national schools Alliance Girls and Alliance High as well as the new national school Maranda Boys High, all of which scored a mean of 11 points.
Other private schools in the top 10 positions are Mary Mother of Grace, Wamy High, Kianda and St Mary’s Boys as well as Maasai High of Kajiado County and Sacho High of Baringo.
And while the St Peter’s Seminary produced the top student nationally, only nine out of the top 100 candidates came from private schools.
This is a stark contrast to the performance of private primary schools in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams in which they take the lion’s share.
Less than 10 of the top 50 schools in last year’s KCPE were public, a trend analysts say is indicative of the downside of free learning. Private schools also dominated the top 10 positions in most of the counties in KCPE.
The inception of free primary education in 2003 has seen phenomenal growth in KCPE examination candidates from 587,961 in 2003 to 776,214 last year, yet the number of teachers and government allocation per child has remained the same.
This is seen as a continued disadvantage of children from poor backgrounds because those who do well get admitted to the few good secondary schools leaving them in less equipped institutions.