At a silent village of Ikombe in the driest part of Machakos county sits Ikombe Day and Boarding Primary School, a public institution. The school is flying high in the 2018 Kenya Certificate of Primary education (KCPE) exam results.
It was one of the few learning institutions established soon after independence. Founded in 1967, the public school has 637 pupils and was little known until it recorded the best score in the country. Remarkably for the school that had registered 95 candidates, 94 of them scored 400 marks and above while just one candidate earned 399 marks.
It recorded a mean score of 418.57 marks to be the best school in the country for both private and public schools categories. Headteacher Abednego Mbondo, who has been at the helm for the last nine years, attributed the good performance to teamwork and motivation for all players. “Good performance is not a new vocabulary to me,” boasts Mbondo.
In the 2016, the school recorded a mean score of 388.48 out of the total candidature of 96, with 25 pupils’ garnering 400 marks and above. In 2017, the school was ranked position in the public schools category nationally and 54 in the overall category, with a mean score of 389.84. Out of 111 candidates who sat for that year’s examination, 33 managed over 400 marks.
It is during this time that the Government awarded the top 100 schools with Sh1 million each for infrastructure development and incremental credits (raised Job Groups) for all best head teachers in the top schools as motivation tact. “I have accepted myself as a teacher; many of teachers live in denial which is a demonisation by itself. Our school is founded on a strong spiritual base and we belief all this is through God,” said Mbondo.
The top candidate, Miriam Rita scored 441 marks, while Daniel Kisese and Hillary Oruru tied with 439 marks. Mbondo told People Daily that his teachers have been highly motivated through exposure from different stake orders. “Notably, we don’t teach anything outside the syllabus which we conclude in time to allow proper revision. Our greatest motivation is the performance of the children,” he said.
Mbondos parting shot: “Parents should cooperate with teachers while the tutors should instruct the children as a balanced academic team. Resources should be well utilised at all levels”. A few kilometres away at Emanuel Springs Academy in Makueni County, another great achievement was being celebrated. Some 53 KCPE candidates out of 77 scored more than 400 marks. The top candidate scored 452 while the lowest in the class of 77 bagged 322 marks hitting a mean score of 409.
In ACK Wote Township Primary School, at least 15 candidates out of 163 scored over 420 marks. The top student earned 439 marks, hitting a mean score of 380.8 marks. “Hard work and cooperation amongst stakeholders. And above all dependency upon God,” said the school’s headmaster, Mr Mwenga.
Other schools that recorded impressive performance include AIC Malivani Primary and the County School, where four candidates scored over 420 marks each school respectively.