Private schools took top positions in Nyanza region in the Standard Eight exit examinations whose results were released Monday.
The top candidates were Maeri Alex Curtis from Cape View Academy in Homa Bay County and Daniel Mosomi Obaara from Elimu Academy in Kisii County. Both scored 432 marks.
They were followed by Achieng' Natalie Ochieng' and Ocholla Hillary Williams from Cape View Academy who both got 430.
The results were released at Mtihani House on Dennis Pritt Road in Nairobi.
A total of 1,083,456 candidates sat the exams in 26,284 centres countrywide. There were 543,582 boys and 539,874 girls.
This was a slight increase over last year's 1.052,344 candidates consisting of 527,294 males and 525,070 females.
Candidates did better in four out of the six subjects on offer - English, Kiswahili, Kenya Sign Language, social studies and religious education. Performance lapsed in mathematics and science.
Boys led in maths, science and social studies and religious education, but girls excelled in English, Kiswahili and Kenya Sign Language.
There were 2,407 candidates with special needs and the best of them scored 414 marks, while some 211 of them had between 300 and 400 marks.
"I wish to emphasise that the ministry will continue to implement interventions that will help our special needs children to access and do well in their education," said Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha.
In Nyanza region, most candidates who scored 400 marks and above in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Kisii and Nyamira counties were from private schools.
In Kisumu County, Golden Elites Premier Academy produced the top student in the county, Simon Onyango, who scored 429 marks.
He wants to join Alliance High School and become a medical doctor in future.
Other top performers included Anthony Ochieng from Xaverian Primary School, who scored 426 marks, and Mercy Oroo who managed 424 marks.
Ochieng Anthony Odhiambo (Xaverian Primary School) emerged the best among candidates who sat their exams in public schools with 426 marks.
Ms June Harriet also scored 418 marks while 11 other candidates scored over 400 marks out of 129 candidates who sat for the exam.
The school's head teacher, Mr George Polo, said: "We managed to be number two among public schools in the entire county and we hope to perform even better this year."
Hekima School, which was among the top performers in Kisumu County last year, also managed to get five candidates with more than 400 marks, with the leading candidate Jok Liabwel Chadack Yol getting 410 marks out of the 18 registered pupils.
Kisumu was among the 18 counties nationally that registered more female candidates than males in the exams.
In Homa Bay County, Cape View Academy, which produced top performers in the region, had several other candidates who achieved 400 marks and above.
They were Rapemo Derick Joseph, Juma John Micheal Oketch Erickson Juma and Waore Carl Curti who got 424, 423 420, 420 marks respectively. In total, it had 37 candidates out of the 99 registered candidates scoring above 400 marks.
The director, Mr Peter Ongoro, attributed the performance to teamwork, discipline and cooperation between parents and teachers.
At Janairo Academy in Rangwe Sub-County, 40 candidates out of 99 got 400 marks and above with their top candidate, Lenox Lawrence Mochama getting 426 marks.
At St Paul's Academy in Homa Bay Town, the top candidate, Basil Ondiwa, got 419 marks followed by Brighton Ang'ila with 410 marks.
At Echoes of Mercy Christian School in Rachuonyo East Sub-County, the top candidate, Japter Kiage Kiango got 418 marks followed by Rodgers Omanyi Odhiambo and tamara Nyamusi who got 413 and 400 marks respectively.
The top candidate at Homa Bay Children's Academy, Vincent Owe, got 410 marks.
Meanwhile in public schools, just a handful of candidates got 400 marks and above. At Gendia Primary School in Rachuonyo North, Dan Stanley Otieno got 404 marks.
Head teacher Patrick Were said his school registered 50 candidates including 36 female candidates.
At Homa Bay Primary School, the top candidates Okul Jeff Otieno got 407 marks.
Homa Bay County had 31,176 registered candidates in this year's exam.
It was the same trend in Kisii County, where private schools dominated top positions.
Elimu Academy, Nyakoe Highway Primary School, Bens Gender Preparatory School, Set Green Hill Academy and Imperial Academy produced top candidates in the county.
Nyakoe Highway Primary School director David Mokamba said a mean score of 370.8 was an excellent result and that over 14 pupils from the school scored over 400 marks.
"I am overjoyed. We will continue putting Kisii in the limelight," said Mr Mokamba.
Set Green Hills Academy director Charles Mochama said the school has continued to set a record of excellence in the county.
"Last year we performed well and I am glad that we have also produced good results this year," said Mr Mochama.
Elimu Academy, which produced Daniel Mosomi Obaara, with 432 marks, also had other top performers -- Lamech Nyaboga Nyaboga and Esther K. Nyong'a -- with 425 marks.
Elimu Academy director Andrew Kombo commended the pupils and teachers for the excellent performance.
In Siaya County, Lwak Girls Boarding Primary School registered the best scores with eight candidates scoring 400 marks and above.
It was all song and dance at the home of 14-year-old Maria Clara Achien'g from the school in Rarieda who scored 426 marks.
The girl, who wants to be a lawyer, attributed her sterling performance to hard work and discipline.
The school's head teacher, Rev sister Beatrice Vera, said: "We have eight candidates so far with 400 marks and above, but we expect more as we continue to receive the results."
The second-best candidate in the county was Adamo Steven Owino of Agoro Oyombe who scored 421 marks, while Ker Emmanuel Otieno of Nyamninia Primary School in Gem Sub-County got 413 marks.
Those who made it to the top 10 slots in the county included Beatrice Akoth who got 417, Teresa Shirley who obtained 414 and Alice Peter who scored 409.
The head teacher described the top candidate at her school as a dedicated learner who always emerged tops in inter-school academic contests.
Others who also scored 400 marks and above in Siaya County included Onyango Samson of Victoria breeze academy who scored 417 while Job Wallace Ochieng of Junior Academy Nyamonye got 410 marks.
Joshua Odhiambo got 408 while his schoolmate at Bondo Township Primary School Daniel Omondi Waradi scored 407.
Reporting by Victor Raballa, Elizabeth Ojina, Dickens Wasonga, George Odiwuor, Lenny Otieno, Ruth Mbula, Sharon Otieno, Justus Ochieng' and Ian Byron