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Private schools dominate in Coast as girls take 16 of 20 top slots nationally

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FRIDAY DECEMBER 30 2016

FROM LEFT: Maria Harunani (A), Khifa Nurani (B+) and Nawila Mohamed (B+) from Memon Academy in Mombasa County after the release of the 2016 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam results on December 29, 2016. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP
From left: Maria Harunani (A), Khifa Nurani (B+) and Nawila Mohamed (B+) from Memon Academy in Mombasa County after the release of the 2016 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam results on December 29, 2016. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
In Summary
Topping the charts in Coast region were Light Academy Mombasa, Abu Hureira Academy, Memon High School and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed.
Allidina Visram High School, an institution with a long and rich history, also made it to the top and so did Lamu Girls Secondary School.
Nationally, the top school in the Kenya National Certificate of Secondary Education was Alliance Girls which had 25 As.
Overall, girls topped the charts, taking 16 out the top 20 places in the Form Four exams.
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http://www.nation.co.ke/image/view/-/1951494/medRes/1298826/-/ij939hz/-/General+Image.jpgBy DAVID ADUDA
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Private schools dominated the top positions in the Coast region in this year’s Form Four examinations whose results were released on Thursday.
Topping the charts in the region were Light Academy Mombasa, Abu Hureira Academy, Memon High School and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Secondary School.
The venerable Allidina Visram High School, an institution with a long and rich history, also made it to the top and so did Lamu Girls Secondary School.
The results were released by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i at the Shimo-La-Tewa High School in Mombasa, breaking with tradition. In the past, they were released in Nairobi in the month of February, meaning that this year, they came two months early.
Nationally, the top school in the Kenya National Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) was Alliance Girls which had 25 As. It was followed closely by Kenya High with 21 As. The other top performer was Mang’u High with 3As.
Overall, girls topped the charts, taking 16 out the top 20 places in the Form Four exams.
Although girls generally performed better than boys, the best candidate nationally was Jacob Wekesa of Alliance High School with straight As of 86.794 points.
The greatest shocker of the day was the drastic drop in the number of candidates with sterling grades. Only 141 candidates scored grade A countrywide, representing a sharp decline from last year when 2,685 candidates scored the same grade.
NO RESULTS CANCELLED
In fact, some schools had more than 200 grade As each, more than all the As attained nationally this year.
Again compared to last year, there were only 88,929 or 15.41 per cent of the candidates attained grade C+, which is the minimum entry qualification to university, compared to 169,492 last year.
This means that some 485,196 candidates failed to make the university grade, out of a total of 574,125 candidates who sat the exams this year. 
Unlike in the past and particularly last year, no results were cancelled for cheating. Last year, results for 5,001 candidates were cancelled over irregularities; the highest in the history of the national exams.
Releasing the results on Thursday, Dr Matiang’i said the reforms initiated to clean the mess in the setting, administration and marking of national exams had paid dividends.
“Consistent to the Ministry’s drive to rid the system of malpractices, I wish to report that KCSE examinations were not leaked,” he said. “I wish to report that all attempted cases of examination malpractices were detected and dealt with appropriately before they could happen.”
Some candidates will, however, have to wait longer before getting their results because of suspected irregularities and other anomalies.
“We should take note that there are a few candidates whose results have been held back as Knec investigates the reasons as to why there were gaps in some of their examination papers, including failure to sit the minimum number of subjects or combinations as required,” said the CS.
Dr Matiang’i, who joined in the Ministry late year, initiated a raft of measures, starting with dissolving the Kenya National Examinations Council board and sacking top officials, including Chief Executive Joseph Kivilu and replacing them with a new team under the chairmanship of Prof George Magoha, a former vice-chancellor of the University of Nairobi.
PRINCIPALS IN CHARGE
The CS also reorganised the school calendar, extending the second term and shortening the third. This only left candidates to remain in schools during the examination period. School principals were put in charge of exam administration and were required to take responsibility in case of irregularities.
Similarly, marking was centralised in Nairobi and markers put under tight control, with 24-hour surveillance.
The release of the results was as dramatic as it was uncharacteristic. It came just a month after the candidates wrote their papers, just like was the case of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education whose results were released early this month.
In terms of performance by subjects, Dr Matiang’i reported that five recorded significant improvement; art and design, computer studies, drawing and design, woodwork and Kenyan sign language. However, 20 subjects were performed poorer than last year, including English, Kiswahili, mathematics, biology, physics, chemistry and general science. Girls did better than boys in eight out of the 30 subjects, meaning that boys performed better in 22.
Prof Magoha said this year’s results reflected the true capability of the candidates. He described the previous trend where so many candidates scored As as tragic.
“It is unimaginable to have a system where candidates get fake grades and end up doing courses like medicine, where they have to handle people’s lives,” he said. “That is setting the stage for tragedy.”
The results were released after a briefing to President Uhuru Kenyatta, who directed that they be released immediately.
President Kenyatta also directed Knec to stop the practice of giving index numbers to schools and candidates and replace it with student identification numbers to be used throughout the education system.



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