Kwale and Kilifi regions, considered marginalised at the Coast, produced best performers, outshining their counterparts in the more well-equipped Mombasa county.
In the preliminary top 10 slots compiled by the Daily Nation by yesterday afternoon, Mombasa County did not feature in the list of schools with the highest mean scores.
Kilifi, Kwale, Taita-Taveta and Tana River were among the top.
Bethany Christian Academy from Kwale County was top with a mean score of 398.12, followed by Masimbani Primary School, a public institution from the same county.
Bambino Academy, which produced the top pupil in Coast region with 427 marks, came third with a 378.06 mean score, while Alfatah Academy from Taita Taveta County closed the four schools with the highest mean score in the region.
Broadway Academy from Tana River was top in the county and fifth in the region, with a 377.41 mean score, while Bandacho (public) and Mtwapa Elite Academy from Kilifi County were sixth and seventh respectively, with a 375.51 and 367.46 mean score.
Tana River School, Hola Ama Primary, Tamani Junior (Lamu) and Mekaela academies closed the top 10 schools list with 363.93, 362.15 and 358.2 mean scores respectively.
Fairfield, with a 355 mean score, was top in Mombasa and number 13 on the list.
John Kariuki Ngingi from Bambino Academy in Mtwapa, Kilifi County, the top pupil at the Coast with 427 marks, comes from a remote area, but his dedication saw him to become best in Coast region and among the top 10 nationally.
Kariuki’s mother, Jane Wanjue, is proud of her 13-year-old son. She said he has consistently performed well in school since joining nursery. Kariuki was transferred to Bambino Academy in class four, and has remained in the top 10 since.
Despite coming from some of the lowest income regions in the country, five pupils from Bridge International Academies gave a stellar performance. They were: Arnold Odhiambo Onyango (407), Joy Catherine Wamuyu (405) and Byron Peter Ochieng (403). Dennis Muthoka and Mark Nigel Ogola tied at 402 marks.
“For the eighth year running, we have a good number of pupils scoring over 400 marks. We are excited at what these strong results will mean for our pupils and their communities. The children have been studying hard with the support of their teachers. This proves once again that the Bridge methodology works,” said Bridge Kenya managing director Griffin Asigo.
At Likoni School for the Visually Impaired, top pupil Aisha Amir overcame health challenges to score 337 marks. In 2019, Aisha had heart surgery.
The school had a mean score of 234, with a girl leading for the first time.
In Kwale County, Jason Wandera, the second-best in the county with 417 marks, said: “I wanted to make my father proud. I am happy that he is in heaven and proud of me.”
Two years ago, when he lost his father, his life changed, requiring him to change schools.
“I joined Bethany Christian Academy in Grade Six. My classmates were already ahead of the syllabus but I quickly adapted,” said Wandera during an interview with the Nation.
The school admits needy children, with full or partial scholarships. It emerged the best in Kwale County with a mean-score of 398.12.
According to his mother Zaida Kaluma, Wandera has been resilient in his studies despite family challenges as she raised him on her own.
Schools in Kwale County performed better than other counties, with Masimbani Primary School in Lungalunga leading among public schools.
Masimbani, with a mean score of 396.98, was ranked second in the county after Bethany Christian Academy, located in Matuga, which scored 398.12.
Masimbani headteacher John Kanga said collaboration between the students, teachers and parents contributed to the sterling performance.
“To ensure our candidates are not distracted by family challenges, we have organised a boarding section for senior pupils in class seven and eight. We also instill a disciplined culture in them,” he said.
- Reporting by Farhiya Hussein, Siago Cece, Stephen Oduor, Kalume Kazungu and Winne Atieno