'Written off’ after KCPE, they beat the odds to shine

Wednesday March 18 2020
Samson Gachie

Samson Gachie, 17, who scored 277 marks in KCPE buy emerged top in Nyakiambi Secondary School in Elburgon, Nakuru County, in 2019 KCSE with an A-minus during celebrations at home in Arimi, Elburgon, on December 18,2019. PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


A number of students who scored 200 marks and below in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination pulled a surprise in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination after they attained mean scores of C+ and above.

The students won praise from President Uhuru Kenyatta and Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, who described them as heroes and heroines.


“Our analysis of how individual candidates who scored as little as 177 points ended up scoring top grades in the KCSE examination is one story of extreme hope and encouragement, especially coming in the face of the new government policy of allowing all KCPE candidates to join Form One,” Prof Magoha said when he announced the results in Nairobi.

He regretted that the society has been celebrating top performers, lifting them shoulder high and showering them with gifts “while sneering at and expressing all forms of contempt at the candidates who score 200 marks and below.”

“We write them (poor performers) off from future academic excellence. Some families marry off girls who score such low marks, while some boys are sent to do menial jobs on the grounds that they are academic dwarfs. Today, I wish to debunk this outdated myth,” the CS said.

Kinyua Milka Wanjiru, who scored 179 marks in KCPE, got a B- at Gathara Secondary School while Munyoki E Mwikali got 199 marks in KCPE and attained a B- at Mama Malia Secondary School.


Sharon Chepkoech, who had 183 marks in KCPE, got a C+ at Saire Secondary School; Mbugua R Macharia, who had 169 marks, got a C+ at Kiambaa Secondary, while Joseph B Mwangi registered a C+ at Mukui Secondary, up from 193 marks in KCPE.

Mureti Timothy, who scored 194 in KCPE exam, got a C+ at Kirindira Mixed; Adam Ngombo Jefa moved from 199 to a C+ at Bakanja Secondary, Joseph Njuguna got a C+ at Kinangop Gateway, up from 183 marks, Peter Mugendi got a C+ at Kathelwa Secondary after attaining 192 in KCPE, and Omar Oriagi rose from 177 marks to earn a C+ at Mokomoni Secondary.

An upbeat Prof Magoha said: “This trend should give hope to our low KCPE performers that they have a chance to do much better at the KCSE level. It also means that the government’s push for 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school makes a lot of sense.”

On his part, President Kenyatta commended sub-county schools for posting a remarkable improvement in the KCSE examination.


The President said the improvement is a result of the enhanced government investment in the education sector.

President Kenyatta spoke at State House, Nairobi, after being briefed on the results.

He commended teachers across the country for devoting their time to give students the best they deserve, catapulting them to be top students in the country.

“My government will continue to ensure our children get quality education regardless of their location,” said the President. 

“Today we have seen that students who scored less than 200 marks at KCPE have posted excellent results. It is all about giving a chance to our children and offering the necessary resources,” the President noted.


He encouraged teachers and parents to support children and give them hope, especially those who join sub-county day schools, saying the institutions are the backbone of the 100 per cent transition programme since they absorb over 70 per cent of the learners.