NYANZA province shone in the 2012 KCSE exam results released yesterday by Education minister Mutula Kilonzo. The province produced four boys in the top 10, led by Tony Edgar from Maseno School in Kisumu county.
Maseno has 13 candidates in the top 100 while Maranda High School of Siaya county has six. Maranda, which topped the 2011 KCSE, has Oliver Kiaye, Elkana Omare and Calvin Wisdom in positions two, five and eight respectively in the top 100 in last year's exam.
In the 2011 KCSE Maranda had two candidates, Sydney Oirere and Tyson Manyala, in position five and nine. The streak of good performance from Maranda started in 2010 when it posted one candidate in position three in the top 10.
In the top 100 schools, Maranda at number seven beat Maseno which came 14th. Moi High School Kabarak, a private school, tops the top 100 schools, followed by Alliance High School.
In third place is a surprise entrant entrant, Mary Mother of Grace Secondary School, a private school in Laikipia. Girls performance in last year's KCSE has dipped slightly compared to 2011. There are two girls in the top 10 compared to three the previous year.
Tasneem Abdulkarim from Mombasa's Sheikh Khalifa is number 6 with Patricia Musomba from Kenya High at number 10. Tasneem and Patricia are among the 31 girls in the top 100 candidates overall.
In 2011, Alliance Girls, Moi Girls Eldoret and Precious Blood Riruta produced top three candidates. Starehe Boys Centre posted Abdulaziz Chaha at position 84 of the top 100.
This is a drop after the academic powerhouse bounced back in 2011 with Brian Gachigwa emerging at number seven in the top 10. Starehe's top candidate in 2010 was at position 58. Mangu's top candidate is 22nd, while Lenana's is 8th in the top 100.
Friends School Kamusinga has no candidate in the top 100, but is number 45 in the overall schools performance. In subjects performance, Chemistry recorded an improvement unlike 2011 when it was among the worst subjects in candidates' performance.
"Chemistry, Physics, Maths alternative A and English recorded an improvement," said Mutula. But there was poor performance in Kiswahili, Biology, History and Government, and Agriculture.
The minister asked the director of Quality Assurance and Standards to to investigate the cause of the decline in performance in the subjects. A total 436,349 candidates sat for the 2012 KCSE in 6,968 examination centres across the country.
The minister said the number of girls' candidates last year improved by 6.9 per cent while boys improved 5.22 per cent. "The small increase in boys should worry us because if not corrected it can reverse the gains made in the education of the boy child."
Mutula said there were more boy than girl candidates in all counties except Meru and Tharaka Nithi. Some 879 special needs, 22 prisoners and 215 hospitalised patients sat the exams.