Only 26 students who sat last year's Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination in Isiolo County will join universities.
Records from the education office indicate that 26 out of 1,259 students in the region managed to score a mean grade of C+ and above.
County Education Director Aileen Mungiria said parents prefer taking their children who perform well in KCPE to Secondary schools in other counties.
Last year, two primary schools in the county were listed among top 100 best performers in KCPE.
Following the trend, the county education board has resolved to promote some institutions to county schools including Mwangaza Girls, Waso, Oldonyiro, Bulesa and Sericho secondary schools, she said.
The board has also established day schools in MCK Kisima, Ariemet, Algani Girls and Garfasa and has proposed to have day learners in Merti Boys and Merti Girls secondary schools.
"We have plans to set up 10 more day schools in the whole region by next year to improve learning," said the education director.
Isiolo has two national schools, Garba Tula High and Isiolo Girls High, while Isiolo Boys High and Kinna Secondary are extra-county schools.
Last year, 24 secondary schools had registered for the national examination, but the institutions have now increased to 28.
She said day schools are admitting students with even less than 250 marks.
In 2016, students who had minimum university entrance score of C+ and above were 29, comprising of 23 from Isiolo Sub-County while Garbatulla and Merti sub-counties produced three students each.
Most of the students who sat KSCE exams in 2017 scored a mean grade of D+ with the county having posted a mean score of 3.12, an improvement from 2.93 in 2016.
The best candidate, Luqman Adan Boru, from Bulesa Day Secondary School in remote Merti Sub County, scored a B+ of 70 points.
Isiolo parents association chairman Ismail Galma regretted that secondary schools in the county continue to post poor results owing to understaffing in some institutions especially in Merti and Garbatulla sub-counties.
Although he claimed that understaffed schools were better-off in terms of performance, he urged the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to post enough teachers to the institutions.
Mr Galma further disclosed that bright students who complete Standard Eight are joining secondary schools outside the county leaving those who might have not done well to get admissions in local schools.
"We have proposed that the county government should amend bursary disbursement procedures to encourage parents to take their children to local schools," said the parent's official.