For the second year running, schools in Mwingi sub-county did Kitui County proud in the 2018 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), with education officials saying private schools in the area recorded a top performance.
County Director of Education Adano Salesa says 80 per cent of pupils who scored over 400 marks were from private academies. Among the top performers were Gabriel Academy, where 11 candidates from the school perished in a grisly road accident while on an education trip.
Salesa said overall, the county posted an impressive performance compared to the previous years, adding that although majority of candidates who obtained 400 marks were from private schools mainly in Mwingi, public schools also performed well.
The director urged teachers in public schools to pull up their socks and give private schools competition. “The candidates had been well prepared while parents gave moral and financial support to the teachers leading to the good results,” said Salesa.
St Gabriel academy, a Catholic Church sponsored school, is situated in the so-called Mwingi academic village – an area crowded by several schools and colleges many of which are doing well.
Despite the trauma caused by the accident, candidates at the school posted a mean score of 373.3 marks, up from 357 it achieved in 2017. The 35 pupils in the school got 350 marks and above, the highest scorer being Eric Ngombo who got 425 marks. Accident survivors Ashly Mwende, Faith Mumo, Daina Mwangi and Lyn Mutua got 415, 414,383 and 356 marks respectively.
The bus that crashed was ferrying Standard Eight pupils only and collided with a truck near Mwingi Town, where eight pupils died on the spot. Six others sustained seriously injuries, while the rest suffered other injuries ranging from broken limbs, fractures and bruises. Three others died later.
The board chairman of the school situated near Mwingi academic village Christopher Nzili said vigorous counselling of the pupils played a key role towards helping them ackle the examination. On getting the results last week, Father Paul Mutemi, the school chaplain, offered a thanksgiving Mass, where parents and teachers reflected on the tragic events as they celebrated the pupils who had surmounted great odds to pass their exams.
Mwingi’s St. Josephine Bakhita had nine pupils with 400 marks and above, with the highest scorer getting 435 marks while eight pupils from Malivani AIC boarding school also in Mwingi saw eight pupils get 400 marks and above. Kanginga Academy, which has been education giants in Mwingi, saw 10 its candidates get 400 marks and above with the highest scorer getting 427 marks.
Another Catholic church school, St Michael on the outskirts of Kitui town, saw 11 pupils score 400 marks and above, with Ngunga Simon getting 433 marks followed by Peter Mumo with 428 marks.
Kitui Central Primary, a public school surprised education officials after six pupils garnered above 400 marks and the to scorer, Mohammed Naseem, getting 435 marks.
Governor Charity Ngilu commended teachers and parents in the county, saying their support and cooperation enabled the schools achieve good results in the examinations. “My administration will give the needed support in education sector to enable schools performing poorly compete favourably with others schools in the country in national examinations,” said Ngilu.