Charles Thuku and Robert Ochoro @PeopeDailyKe
Pangani Girls’ High School in Nairobi has reasserted itself as an academic giant in Kenya after producing the top student in the country in the 2018 Kenya Certificate of Secondary School Education (KCSE) examination results for a second year running.
Juliet Irene Otieno (pictured), who emerged the top student in the country in the 2018 examination, scored a plain ‘A’ grade with a mean score of 87.6.
She kept the national school’s candle aglow by emulating Karimi Naomi Kawira, who led in the 2017 examination with a similar grade and a mean score of 87.011 points. Juliet was almost lost for words upon learning that she had vanquished all in the country in the examination.
“I can’t really decipher that I have topped the country and I must thank God for this enviable feat,” she said in a telephone conversation from her parent’s rural home in Rongo.
She said she wants to become a neurosurgeon or a lawyer. Her mother, Mary Otieno, said her daughter has been obedient and God-fearing, hence the good results.
At Pangani, there were no wild celebrations that come with such a feat gained by Juliet since the students are on vacation but Principal Florence Ngarari, who was accompanied by several teachers and the school administration staff, was over the moon.
“I thank God and I must say that this is an ideal Christmas gift for both the students and teachers.
It is not easy to produce a top student in the country two times in a row and I attribute the success to hard work and diligence by teachers and students,” said Ngarari.
She described Juliet as an exceptional student who has been on top of her class since being enrolled in Form One. “She has been excelling academically besides being a diligent school captain and has reaped the fruits of hard work,” said Ngarari.
Juliet, 18, who scored 421 marks in KCPE from Rongo success Academy in 2014, attributed her success to hard work, discipline and prayers to God.
To many, the performance of Pangani under the stewardship of Ngarari is least surprising considering that in 2015, she led Kahuhia Girls’ in producing the best student, Ivy Mwangi.
Ngarari was accompanied by Shauri Moyo OCS Alice Chemutai, a parent at Pangani and whose daughter scored a B+ which also assures her of a slot at a public university.
When People Daily caught up with Juliet in Rongo, she said he expected to perform well but not to be the top student in the country.
“ I was watching the news at home and I could not believe my ears when I heard Education Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed announce I was the top girl in the country,” she said.
Her mother Mary Otieno and father Paul Were said they were excited to have produced the best girl nationally, saying she had reaped the fruits of her hard work and discipline.
“We are very proud of Juliet who has performed well. We were confident that she would pass her exams but we never imagined she would be top in the country. We thank God for her success and we believe she will achieve her dreams,” said Juliet’s mother.