Top KCSE candidate Robinson Wanjala Simiyu of Murang’a High School attained the enviable mean score of 87.334 to emerge the best performer in the 2020 KCSE. This is no mean feat given, first, the highly competitive nature of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and the disruption brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic which forced candidates to stay out of school for over six months.
His performance has elevated Murang’a High School into the KCSE Hall of Fame this year, beating giants like Alliance Boys, Kenya High and Kapsabet Boys, the home last year’s best student school.
While in previous years top students have been motivated by their teachers and their quest to emerge best by earning top marks, Murang’a High School student was given an extra inducement: Ksh50,000.
It is understood that Robinson Wanjala was paid Ksh50,000 well before he sat for his KCSE examinations, perhaps offering him more reason to study harder for that extra marks not just to hit high grades, but also keep the Ksh50,000.
Whether giving monetary incentive before examination is a great way to motivate a student to perform well will be an issue for educationists to debate.
Top 15 2020 KCSE candidates
- Robinson Wanjala Simiyu – Murang’a High School – 87.334)
- Allan Wasonga Agoro Sare High School – (87.173)
- Sharon Chepng’eno (Kenya High School) with 87.173
- Rob Ongare Muraisi – Alliance High with 87.173
- Ester Mbugua – Kenya High with 87.113
- Kipkoech Kogo – Alliance high school with 87.106
- Kenneth Oranga – Kapsapet boys with 87.049
- Madaga Henry – Maranda High school with 87.046
- Chepkor Patience – Kenya High school with 87. 046
- Musomba Edith Kisei – Machakos girls with 87.013
- Leslie Loise – Kenya High School
- George Thylron- Kapsabet boys
- Kiprono Howard -Maranda High school
- Jelimo Debora – Kenya High School
- Buluma Daisy – Kenya High School
But questions are likely to be raised on how the Murang’a High School Deputy Principal (academics) Charles Karanja reached the decision to pay the student Ksh50,000 using a post-dated cheque ahead of the 2020 KCSE exams, which was to be his reward if he emerged the best candidate. Should students be paid to achieve what they are actually supposed to achieve?
Top 20 Performing Schools
- Kenya High……10.76
2. Alliance Girls….10.65
3. Kapsabet Boys…10.60
4. Maranda Boys….10.57
5. Machakos Girls…10.48
6. Mang’u Boys…..10.33
7. Kaaga Girls…..10.31
8. Alliance Boys…..10.30
9. Agoro Sare Boys….10.22
10. Chanda Boys…10.12
11. Kabarak High…10.11
12. Pangani Girls….9.97
13. St. Joseph’s Girls..9.95
14. St. Bridgit’s Girls…9.69
15. Moi Girls Eldoret…9.56
16. Starehe Boys…9.42
17. Lugulu Girls…9.32
18. State House Girls….9.31
19. Kisii High…9.27
20. Kamusinga Boys….9.20
The norm is usually rewarding students after their performance or at least just promising the reward.
In society where the end often justifies the means, issuing a cheque to a student ahead of exams may not raise eyebrows but that act can actually pile undue pressure to a student who looks at the cheque daily as he prepares for the examination? In this case the student can go the extra mile -through reading/studying harder or using other means to attain the target.
It will be interesting to hear what Robinson says motivated – and actually got him – to become the best student countrywide.
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