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Academies rule as public institutions play catch-up

Private schools have once again outshone their public counterparts in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination despite huge investments to improve quality of education in state-sponsored institutions.

The results released on Monday indicate public schools lag behind their private counterparts in nearly all counties. A number of public schools, however, produced sterling performances.

They include Ikombe Primary School in Yatta, Machakos county, which pulled a surprise with a mean score of 418 marks. Of the 95 candidates, 94 scored 400 marks and above while only one scored 399 marks.

Nairobi’s Utawala Primary School had a  mean score of 370.55 marks compared to last year’s 353.08 marks.  Some 87 candidates managed between 350 to 399 marks,  21 scored  between 300 to 349 marks, 14 students got between 250 and 299 while only one student scored less than 249 marks.

Although private schools have been dominant in the past, public schools seem to be catching up especially going by the number of candidates who scored 400 marks and above in the exam.

In Nakuru county, Ivy Wanjiku of St Mary Primary School, a public school in Molo, emerged top after scoring 451 marks and tied with Leonard Asanga of Moi Primary School, Kabarak.

At Moi Primary School in Nakuru Town — one of the largest public schools in the county — Silvia Mungina scored 441 marks.

At Nyeri Primary School, 200 candidates scored over 400 marks with the top candidate scoring 441. Overall, however, private schools have performed better, accounting for the majority of candidates who scored more than 400 marks.

Best performing private schools  included St Kevin Nyali, Mekaela Likunda School, Busy Bee School, Aga Khan Primary, Leads Group of Schools, Coast High Vision Chaani, Mwatate Junior Preparatory, St Kevin Likoni and Coast Star Academy.

In Kirinyaga county, private primary schools took all the top ten positions. In Kericho, private academies outshone public schools with the best candidate in the county, Benedict Kiprotich, of Kericho Primary School attaining 444 marks.

In Vihiga county, Mudasa Academy, Mbale Shalom and Moses Mudavadi Mululu were the best schools  with many of their candidates posting 400 marks and above.

It is no surprise that private schools have been doing better than their public counterparts in the piloting of the new curriculum, dubbed 2-6-6-3.

A recent evaluation by the curriculum developer showed private schools were excelling due to adequate learning materials and better trained teachers.

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