Kaila Raha, who emerged among the top ten performers in Nakuru County in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), believes she will attain her desire to join Alliance Girls High School.
The 13-year-old girl who did her KCPE examinations at St George’s Academy within Nakuru East Sub-county and scored 417, hopes to join Harvard University after her secondary education and pursue a course in law. She is happy to have set a good base for her dream career.
“I attribute my performance to my teachers and mother. They supported me when the Country was devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic interrupting learning in schools,” said Raha.
“I put in more efforts and my mother supported me by ensuring that I went on with my studies. The management of St George’s Academy put in place online lessons to ensure all candidates were engaged. My ambition is to become Kenya’s Chief Justice, someday,” she said.
Raha is elated that girls performed better than boys in the exams done under difficult circumstances following prolonged closure of schools and restrictions occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Eight Kilometers away, David Ndung’u of Bahati North Academy, situated in Bahati Sub-county has been observing muted celebrations after bagging 405 marks in the examinations.
In his own words, the excited Ndung’u said he was surprised by the results. The 13-year-old boy describes himself as an average pupil who God’s miracle ensured he performed beyond his expectations.
Ndung’u is hopeful to join Alliance Boys High school for his secondary education and later pursue a career in medicine.
He said a decision by the Head Teacher of Bahati North Academy to set a counseling department which organized counseling sessions for candidates at their homes when Covid-19 struck was the biggest contributor to impressive KCPE performance at the institution.
The Department, he observed, played a crucial role when school reopened, where it was able to do psychological clinics by counseling teachers and pupils.
“We were counseled to focus and know that everything is possible if we believe and work towards it. The candidates’ hopes were rejuvenated as we were encouraged that Covid-19 will not throw our education sector deep into turmoil,” said Ndung’u.
Catherine Njoki of St George’s Academy, who scored 392 marks, attributed her success to hard work, prayers, and the conducive environment for learning at the school.
“I was sitting in the house with other family members when the Education Cabinet Secretary, Professor George Magoha, read out this year’s KCPE results. I later sent a message through my phone and found out that I scored 392 marks.
I am expecting to join State House Girls High School. The good results came as a surprise to me and the family,” said the last born in a family of three children.
Raha’s mother Hellen Waithera and the St George’s Academy’s Principal, Ephantus Mwaniki, could not hide their joy after receiving the results.
“My daughter has done us proud and it is through hard work and discipline that she has excelled in the examinations,” said Ms Waithera.
“So far I am happy with the results and I thank the school management. I will let my daughter decide what she wants to do in life. I am not the kind of parent to force a child to do what I want,” she added.
Mwaniki said the student had consistently demonstrated her abilities at the school. “We are happy that the girl has performed well in the KCPE examination. This is a reflection of her hard work, determination and discipline,” said the Principal.
Bahati North Academy Head Teacher, Patrick Wesonga, attributed the good results to hard work by teachers and the students. “We had a programme that targeted the weak and focused our energies on working as a group.
“I also attribute my success to God, parents, teachers and friends who helped us, hard work pays,” he said.
The number of candidates who scored 400 marks and above in the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination dropped by 16.4 per cent for a second year in a row.
The school calendar was interrupted by the long closure occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Of the 1,179,192 million pupils who sat for the national exams last month, 8,091 scored above 400, a drop from 9,673 in 2019”, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha noted, as he released the results, on Thursday.
The top KCPE candidate scored 433 marks, seven points below 2019’s record of 440 marks.
By Anne Mwale and Dennis Rasto