Materi Girls Centre
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2023 KCSE: Little-known schools that upset giants

Students at Materi Girls Centre in Tharaka Nithi County celebrates the school’s good performance in this year’s KCSE exams on Monday.

Photo credit: Alex Njeru | Nation Media Group

The 2023 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results that were released on Monday by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu revealed some new schools that are staking a claim on positions that were traditionally the preserve of an elite club of top schools.

Some of the schools that dislodged the erstwhile academic giants are not known to attract the attention of parents and learners seeking Form One places as competition is mainly for the well-established institutions.

Mudasa Academy in Vihiga County is the most notable school in the list of new top performers compiled by Nation. It is second just below the top school, Moi High School Kabarak, which has a mean score of 10. 43. Mudasa Academy has a mean score of 10.40 and qualified all its 73 candidates for university intake.

Eshibanze Muslim Secondary School

Eshibanze Muslim Secondary School teachers, parents and friends celebrate with top students Nyangweso Eisten Baraka (left) and Oyuyo Annuar Musa at the school in Matungu, Kakamega County,  on Monday following the release of the 2023 KCSE exam results. Nyangweso scored an A while Musa had an A-. 

Photo credit: Isaac Wale I Nation Media Group

Kisima Mixed Secondary School from Nyahururu also had all its 35 candidates qualify for direct admission to the university, posting a mean score of 9.8. Two students at the school had a mean grade of A plain. Eight others had A-, 11 B+, nine C plain and five B-.

Chemelil Sugar Academy also fought for its space at the top with a mean score of 9.89. It found great company in Nandi County’s Lelwak Boys High School with 9.566.

Kisasi Secondary School in Kitui County also claimed bragging rights with an impressive score of 9.2152. According to a tabulation of the results published by the school’s principal, Mr Francis Muthusi, only one out of the 233 students who sat the test at the extra-county school in Kitui Rural Constituency failed to meet the threshold for university admission.


“We have posted an improvement from the 7.96 mean score which we posted in the 2022 KCSE,” Mr Muthusi told Nation.

The school was placed ahead of Kitui School, Muthale Girls High School and St Charles Lwanga School, which have been known over the years as the best-performing schools in the county. Kitui School, a national school, had a mean score of 8.90, a drop from the 9.312 mean score it posted the previous year.

Muthale Girls High School principal Hellen Opondo said 314 out of the 318 candidates qualified to join university. It had a 9.063 mean score while St Charles Lwanga’s mean score was 8.95.

However, at Matinyani Secondary School, another top-performer in the county, uncertainty reigned for the second day yesterday as students waited for their KCSE results. The school emerged the best in the Ukambani region in the 2022 KCSE.

Nation established that some of the students who queried the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) portal received 'W' results, which meant that their results had been withheld for suspected malpractice. Nation was unable to get a comment from the principal, Mr Nelson Muriithi, as calls to his phone went unanswered.

CS Machogu: 1,216 candidates scored scored A in 2023 KSCE exams

In neighbouring Machakos County, Matungulu Girls High School also fought for space at the top, posting a mean score of 8.15. According to a tabulation of the results published by the principal, Ms Juliana Musaba, and seen by Nation, 215 out of the 253 candidates qualified for admission to university.


Njia Boys High School in Igembe Central, Meru County, received its best ever KCSE results. Out of 235 candidates registered, 165 scored a mean grade of C+ and above (70 per cent transition to university). The school had a mean grade of 7.25.

The principal, Mr Alex Karuma, attributed the success to discipline and hard work.

“These are our best results in the history of this school, which is over 40 years old. Our good performance in this remote area with limited facilities proves that there is no school that cannot do well given a good environment,” Mr Karuma said.

Mutuobare Secondary School, a sub-county school in Mbeere South, Embu County, had 49 of its 79 candidates qualify for university admission. It posted a mean score of 6.8.The principal, Mr David Muriuki Ireri, told Nation the achievement was due to hard work by the candidates, teachers and parents.

“We prepared the candidates well and instilled confidence in them. I teach history and always lead by example,” he said.

In Garissa County, Gedi Secondary School emerged among the best performers in the 2023 KCSE examinations. Located at the heart of the Dadaab Refugee Camp, Gedi Secondary School registered a mean score of 8.0 points to top the county.

A total of 32 candidates scored a B plus mean grade, with another group of 103 scoring a mead grade of B plain while 111 students scored B-, 71 managed C + and 42 students scored a C plain. Only 10 candidates had a C- while one scored a D+.

At least 15 candidates missed the test for various reasons, according to the school’s principal, Mr Feisal Gedi.

“We are faced with myriad challenges, including a biting shortage of teachers, insecurity and high poverty rates.”

“But we have remained resilient and determined to post a good performance,” Mr Gedi said.

The school draws its enrolment from the refugees community that is settled at the camp, a majority of whom are from war-torn Somalia.

“Insecurity remains our number one challenge. We cannot attract professional teachers here as most fear for their lives,” Mr Gedi told Nation.

Reporting by David Muchunguh, Pius Maundu, Gitonga Marete, Alex Njeru and Manase  Otsialo