KCSE: Chewoyet Boys, the Kijana Wamalwa, Tonje alma mater with 62 Ds

The late Micheal Kijana Wamalwa.

Photo credit: File

West Pokot’s academic giant, Chewoyet Boys, a national school, suffered a major setback in the 2021 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams when the results of three candidates were cancelled over exam malpractices, affecting its performance.

As if that was not bad enough, the boys-only boarding school, which was elevated to a national school in 2012, had 62 Ds in the 2021 exams. It had 415 candidates.

Located in Mwotot sub-location, Kapenguria location, in Kapenguria constituency, the school, which took position one in the county in the 2020 KCSE, had a mean score of 6.922, a drop from 7.068 in 2020.

It had one A, 24 A-minus, 38B+, 47 B-plain, 58 B-, 64 C, 60 C-minus, 35 D+, 25 D in the 2021 KCSE exams.

Chewoyet is one of the big schools in West Pokot that have been posting good results. It was among the first two premier government schools in the North Rift region alongside Kapsabet Boys.

The site of the school, located about four kilometres from Kapenguria town, served as the first colonial court in the region where Kenya’s founding President the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and the Kapenguria Six were tried on April 8, 1953. The former court precincts now serve as the administration block, which also has a staff room.

Some of the school’s notable alumni are the late Michael Kijana Wamalwa, former vice-president, and his brother, Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, former Chief of the General Staff Daudi Tonje, Regional and Northern Corridor Development PS Dr Belio Kipsang, and former Nairobi town clerk John Gakuo.

School Principal Kiminisi Barasa said the candidates whose results were cancelled had been found with unwanted materials in the examination rooms.

Fairly good

Despite the cancellation of the results, he said, the school still emerged among the best in the county.

“Our performance is not all that bad because the results for other candidates are fairly good,” he said.

But parents, local leaders and education stakeholders expressed disappointment over the cancelled results, saying this had damaged the county’s image.

“This is a shame for such a big school. This has ruined the students’ future. We will not tolerate such acts in the school,” Barasa said.

Kapenguria Boys High School had 484 candidates and a mean score of 6.9897, a drop from 7.442 in 2020.

The best girls’ school in the county was Tartar, with a mean score of 6.23, a drop from 6.4 in 2020.

Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto noted that the cancelled results amounted to sabotage as they had lowered the county’s mean score.

“As a county, we had improved and our schools were doing better. The county is aiming at improving its mean score,” he said.

Mr Moroto urged headteachers in the region to ensure that no exam irregularities are committed.

“We don’t want to hear anything about exam cancelling. This kills the morale of learners and affects their future,” he said.

West Pokot sub-county Education Director Charles Imanyara said his office was investigating the cancelled results.

“We shall give out a full report on Monday,” he said.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) West Pokot branch executive secretary Martin Sembelo criticised school principals whose schools were involved in exam cheating.

In 2018, the KCSE exam results for Ortum Boys, St Cecilia and Chepareria Girls in West Pokot were cancelled by the Kenya National Examinations Council over cheating.