Simiyu Robinson Wanjala, a student of Murang'a High School, is the best performer nationwide in the national secondary school examinations of 2020.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha made the announcement on Monday, while releasing results of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams.
Mr Wanjala attained a mean score of 87.334, CS Magoha said, adding that the second best candidates were Wasonga Allan Udoma of Agoro Sare Secondary School and Sharon Chepng’eno Terer of Kenya High School, who both had scores of 87.173.
They were followed by Rob Moriasi Ong'are (Alliance High School, 87.139), Mbugua Esther (Kenya High School, 87.133), Kipkoech Mark Kogo (Alliance High School, 87.106), Kenneth Oranga (Kapsabet Boys' High School, 87.049), Henry Madaga (Maranda High School, 87.049), Patience Chepkorir (Kenya High School, 87.046,) and Edith Musomba (Machakos Girls High School, 87.013).
The next best performers were Lesly Loise Wanjiku, George Pitron, Kiprono Ogor, Debra Jelimo and Daisy Buluma.
The minister noted that out of the top 15 candidates, five were from Kenya High School.
The top special needs candidate was Kipkemoi Miriam Chelating Moi Girls' High School in Eldoret, whose mean score was 84.8 (A plain).
Prof Magoha noted that the candidates performed well considering the disruptions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He announced that 143,140 (or 19 per cent of the candidates) scored C+ and above, attaining the minimum university entry mark, compared to the 125,747 recorded in 2019.
In 2019, a total of 125,747 candidates attained C+ and above, representing 18 per cent of the 697,222 candidates that year.
A total of 893 students scored A plain, an increase of 266 from the 627 recorded in 2019.
"This is the clearest indicator that the candidates have performed at par, or better, compared to 2019, despite the negative effects of Covid-19,” he said at Mitihani House in Nairobi.
“Their battle was fought with resilience and worn with grace,” the CS added, noting they will join teacher training colleges, technical and vocational education training institutes, medical colleges and universities at the same time, and without delays, to prevent a backlog.
This, he explained, is under the government’s zero wastage policy also known as 100 per cent transition policy where opportunity for academic progression has been created for all.
“I assure all candidates that they have a bright future full of hope and shorn of despair. All candidates have a place in our education story," he said.
"The government has ensured that every child in the country has a place to pursue a career. We believe there is no insignificant child and that no one should be left behind."
The CS further noted that 652 students sat their examinations in hospital after giving birth.
The counties with the highest number of cases of teenage pregnancies were Bungoma (43) Meru(38), Nakuru (36) Kisii and Nandi.
“The number of candidates sitting exams (pregnant) was the highest in history,” said Prof Magoha.
A total of 747,161 candidates sat for the examinations at 10,565 centres across the country, according to Dr Mercy Karogo, the acting chief executive officer of the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec). The number was higher than the 697,222 recorded in 2019.
Some 752,891 candidates registered for the KCSE exam but 5,730 of them missed the tests. The exams were marked by 25,135 examiners.
CS Magoha also reported that more girls than boys registered in 15 out of the country’s 47 counties.
Turkana had the highest number of overage candidates while Bungoma had the highest number of underage candidates (those aged 15 years and below).
In terms of irregularities, CS Magoha said the results of 287 candidates were cancelled as there was sufficient proof of malpractices.
He said 211 of the students had unauthorised materials in exam rooms and that authorities confiscated 45 mobile. The CS added that there were also cases of impersonation and collusion.
Knec chairman, Dr John Onsati, said that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the council was able to administer credible examinations.
Dr Onsati said Knec put in place sufficient measures to ensure professionalism throughout the process.
“Staff worked round the clock to ensure exams were administered on time,” he said.
Teachers Service Commission chief executive Nancy Macharia said teachers involved in cheating will be removed from the register if found guilty.
Ms Macharia noted that the commission does not support any form of unethical conduct by teachers, and that the worst of them relate to exams.
“We will act decisively and conclusively on errant teachers while upholding the rules of natural justice and the principle of due process as stipulated in the Code of Regulations for Teachers,” she said.
Additional reporting by Collins Omulo, [email protected]