Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed from Mombasa was among the best performers in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations.
Nationally, Kabarak High School emerged the best for the second year running, posting a mean score of 11.667. Out of the school’s 289 candidates, 202 scored an A while the last had a B.
It was followed by Maseno School with a score of 11.393, with 140 candidates scoring A and the least was one candidate with B.
Alliance High School was third with a mean score of 11.37. Other top performers were Utumishi Academy with a mean score of 11.1704, Kapsabet Boys 11.15, St Joseph’ Boys 11.0.
Other schools that posted top results were Sacho High School, with a mean score of 10.973, Light Academy Nairobi, 10.93, Rang’ala Girls High School 10.9, Kapsabet Girls High School 10.89, Asumbi Girls High School 10.833, Kanga High School 10.8, Rumuruti Mother of Grace Boys secondary 10.78, St Patricks’ Iten 10.7, Maranda 10.6, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed 10.53, Sing’ore Girls 10.4, Litein Boys High School 10.37.
Also posting good grades were Strathmore School with a mean score of 10.35, Friends School Kamusinga 10.28, Kapenguria Boys 10.217, Kipsigis Girls 10.1, Samoei High School 10.01 and Kisii School 10.0
These are the Nation’s own ranking and were not issued by the Ministry of Education, which declined to issue the scores for any of the candidates or schools.
Some 522,870 sat the exams in 8,646 centres last year compared to 483,630 in 8,057centres in 2014.
There were 279,289 males compared to 243,581 representing a gender ratio of 53.41 per cent and 46.59 per cent respectively.
The results were released Thursday by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i at Mtihani House, Nairobi, at a ceremony that was bereft of the previous splendour and grandeour.
Unlike in the past when the ceremony was attended by all senior education directors, county education directors, representatives of unions and other stakeholders, this time round, it was a brief and brisk news conference with just a handful of ministry officials.
Last year’s KCSE recorded the dubious distinction having the highest number of examination cheating cases in history.
Some 5,101 candidates in 305 centres cheated and their results were cancelled, representing about one per cent of the candidates.
In 2014, there were 2,975 cases while in 2013, they were 3,812.
All the counties, except Isiolo, were involved in cheating and the worst cases were registered in Nairobi, Makueni and Meru. For Makueni, this was repeat offending.
In 2014, it was one of the three counties that recorded the highest cases of cheating, the others being Bomet and Kisii.
Some 171 people had been arrested, among them 11 principals and deputies.
“Results of all candidates who were involved in examination irregularities have been cancelled as it is our duty to the diligent candidates who do not involve themselves in examination irregularities to ensure that the results are credible,” said Dr Matiang’i.
Cabinet Secretary announced the Kenya National Examinations Council had set up a secretariat where those whose results have been cancelled can seek clarification. Unlike in the past when schools whose students cheated had the entire results cancelled, this time it is only the cheating candidates who are penalised.
“Schools that feel aggrieved with any aspect of the examination results including cancellation of results have one month to raise any question on the same with Knec to enable the council take necessary action,” he said.
The schools or candidates were not ranked, a trend that has been going for the past three years.
However, Dr Matiang’i said that the government was reopening debate on the matter and said the stakeholders will be called upon to give suggestions how it can be comprehensively addressed.
Performance more or less mirrored the previous year. There were 165,766 candidates — or 31.52 per cent who scored grade C+ and above, which is the minimum university entry requirement. In 2014, there were 149,717 candidates or 30.78 per cent — who obtained grade C+ and above.
Even so, the number of candidates with grade A went down from 3,073 in 2014 to 2,636 last year.
The number of candidates who scored D+ and below were 209,807 compared to 203,051 the previous year.
But questions were being asked if the number of grade As announced by the minister tallied with the actual grade As recorded in schools, given that a single school like Kabarak had more than 200 candidates and the other top ones had more than 100 candidates with grade A.
It appeared that just about 10 schools took up all the As, which does not appear realistic.
Performance improved in 13 subjects, including English, Kiswahili, mathematics, biology, physics, chemistry and agriculture.
However, despite the improvement, some of the subjects were still performed poorly in absolute terms. For example, English had a mean score of 40.29 per cent , mathematics alternative A 26.88 per cent and general science 9.02 per cent.
Female candidates did better than males in seven subjects — English, Kiswahili, home science, Art and Design, German and French. Girls generally did better in languages but were not as good as the boys in maths and the sciences.
Knec’s chief executive Joseph Kivilu said the candidates were examined in 30 subjects organised in 72 papers.
Deadline for registration for this year’s candidates is March 31.