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PCEA Kathigiri's journey to top performance in KCPE

Tuesday November 19 2019

PCEA Kathigiri shool head Josleen Mugambi

Josleen Mugambi, head teacher of PCEA Kathigiri Boarding Primary School in Meru County, addresses journalists at the school on November 18, 2019, following the release of KCPE results. PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DAVID MUCHUI
By DAVID MUCHUI
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PCEA Kathigiri Boarding Primary School in Meru County has cemented its top position in the region by attaining a mean score of 400 in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations.

The school, which was among the worst performers in the region 18 years ago, has been listed as the best public primary institution in the country for several years.

This year, Kathigiri managed a mean score of 400.55 down from 403.7 in 2018. In 2017, the school was ranked position seven in the country with 404 points.

Its top candidate scored 433 out of 500 marks and was among the top 10 nationally, while 48 out of the 80 pupils attained more than 400 marks.

The school had a mean score of 398 in 2016 and 409 in 2015, when it produce the best candidate in Meru with 446 marks.

In 2014, Kathigiri recorded a mean score of 395 compared to 393.85 in 2013 and 388.85 in 2012.

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An undated picture of Arnold Mutwiri, the boy
An undated picture of Arnold Mutwiri, the boy who scored 433 marks in KCPE exams written at PCEA Kathigiri Boarding Primary School. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

STRONG VALUES

Head teacher Josleen Mugambi, who took over from long-serving Micheni Ragwa this year, said the school has established a culture of hard work and discipline.

“While this is a drop from last year’s performance, we are happy that more than half of our candidates scored more than 400 marks," Ms Mugambi said.

"It is not easy to remain at the top. We ensure we cover the syllabus extensively and that pupils are given sufficient time to revise."

The school head also noted that teachers uphold high standards of discipline among learners, thereby creative a conducive environment for learning.

She said they are always keen on breaking their records.

Lenox Kirianki, who scored 446 marks in the
Lenox Kirianki, who scored 446 marks in the 2015 KCPE exams at PCEA Kathigiri Boarding Primary School in Meru County, celebrates with his mother Phyllis Mukami, the then county Education director Willy Machocho (L) and former head teacher Micheni Ragwa. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

'SMALL ANT'

Mr Ragwa said they took elaborate steps to shine, given that 'Kathigiri’ means ‘a very small ant’ in Kimeru.

For about six years, Kathigiri had been flooring majority of the 30,000 public and private primary schools in the country.

“When I joined the school in 2000, it had eight classes with a population of 64 pupils only. The environment was not good and there were no facilities. The name ‘kathigiri’ sounded too strange for a school," he said.

"When I declared that the school would be in the top in one year, many laughed me off but we resolved to work as a team and [achieve this goal]."

In 2000, the school became the most improved in Meru, having acquired 86 more points.

“As they say, the rest is history. We started moving up the ladder of academic performance and in the last 10 years we have been among the top,” Mr Ragwa told the Nation.

He also spoke of a culture of team work, hard work, positive competition among teachers and pupils and maximum teacher-pupil contact time.

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