2021 KCSE: Maranda leads as Nyanza’s giants fail to shine on national stage


 Maranda High School students celebrate past KCSE results. 

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

Academic giants from Nyanza recorded a lacklustre performance on the national stage in the 2021 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results as compared to last year.

Topping the list of regional aces were Maranda School, Maseno National School, Kanga High School, Kisii High and Mbita High, which also registered huge enrollment.

Compared to the previous performance, some schools in the region posted impressive results as most of the candidates attained the minimum university entry grade of C+ (plus) and above.

Maranda, which topped the 2011 KCSE chart, led the pack with 30 candidates scoring A plain, 141 (A), 139 (B+), 108 (B), 83 (B-) and 59 (C+). Only 61 candidates scored less than C+ grade out of a total of 621 learners who sat for the exam.

However, the school’s overall performance dropped to a mean score of 9.1 compared to 9.7 achieved last year, while the number of those with A plain grades dropped by 18 from 48 in 2020.

Kapsabet High School topped the 2021 KCSE exam nationally, producing the best mean grade and highest number of university qualifiers.

The school posted an improved mean score of 10.688, up from the 10.5 it scored last year in results released yesterday by Education cabinet secretary George Magoha.

A remarkable achievement is that the entire class of 461 students who sat for KCSE at Kapsabet High attained the minimum university qualifying grade of C+ (plus) and above. 

Some 104 candidates scored straight A grades as compared to 65 last year. The school contributed 9.14 per cent of the all the As scored nationally.

Although the Ministry of Education no longer ranks schools, data put together by Sunday Nation positions the school as the best nationally.

However, Mang’u High School basked in the glory of producing the top candidate nationally, Jeriel Ndeda Obura. He topped the charts with a performance index of 87.167.

Some 191 other candidates at Kapsabet High School scored a mean grade of A- (minus), 99 B+ (plus),  54 B (plain) and 12 B- (minus) and one C+ (plus).

“We’re happy with the grades, considering that our mean score improved this year as compared to last year,” said the school deputy principal Mr David Kogo.

The 826,807 candidates who sat the examination between March and April are the pioneer class of the 100 per cent transition policy that began in 2018. Prof Magoha attributed the increased enrolment of 79,646 candidates compared to the 747,161 who sat the examinations in 2020 (10.66 per cent) to the policy.

While releasing the results at the Kenya National Examinations Council headquarters, Prof Magoha noted that although there were more candidates qualifying for university admission and other tertiary training, the percentage proportion of those who passed is poorer than last year.

“The number of candidates with minimum university entry qualification of Grade C+ and above rose to 145,145 (17.49 per cent) in the year 2021 KCSE examination compared to 143,140 (19.03 per cent) in 2020. The percentage of candidates with mean Grade of C+ and above has declined from 19.03 per cent to 17.49 per cent,”  he said.

Other schools that posted impressive results in the KCSE exam include last year’s top school, the Kenya High School, which had 64 students scoring As, 130 A-, 70 with B+, 36 with B, 18 with B-, 12 C+, one C and one C-. The school, which posted a mean score of 10.42, had four students in the top 15 nationally.

Another top performer was Alliance Girls, which had 59 candidates who scored a mean grade of A plain out of the total candidature of 470. Some 126 other candidates scored A-. Kagumo High School in Nyeri County recorded a mean score of 9.78, an improvement from 9.41 mean last year. The school also managed to produce 40 candidates with straight As. Out of the 349 candidates who sat for the exams last month, 98 posted A minus.

Speaking at the school yesterday, principal Dr Silas Mwirigi said that the improvement in the results this year had seen 98 per cent of the students score C plus and above to qualify for admission to university.

He attributed the performance to efforts made to finish the syllabus on time.

 “We ensure that our candidates get enough time for revision without putting pressure on them at the last minute,” he said.

Light Academy, Nairobi, with a candidature of 137, posted a mean score of 9.61. The school had 22 students scoring As.

From the North Rift, Moi Girls Eldoret had a mean score of 9.504 while Friends School Kamusinga had a mean score of 9.6186. Maranda High School from Siaya had an impressive mean score of 9.1.

In lower Eastern, Kitui School led the pack with a mean grade of 9.50 followed by St Charles Lwanga School which posted 8.95 mean grade, according to an analysis of the results seen by the Nation.

“Our performance improved significantly from the 9.15 mean grade which we posted in the 2020 KCSE. 99.4 per cent of the 180 students who sat the 2021 KCSE at Kitui School have qualified to enrol for various courses at the university,” said Bernard Mutua, the principal of Kitui School.

In the neighbouring Makueni County, regional academic giant Makueni Boys High School recorded a slight drop in its overall performance. However, it remained top in the 2021 KCSE charts in the region with a mean grade of 8.26.

During an earlier meeting at State House Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta instructed the Ministry to channel more finances to the schools, which are often neglected yet they host the majority of students in secondary school.

Reporting by David Muchunguh, Amina Wako, Barnabas Bii, Pius Maundu and Ndubi Moturi


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