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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Boys dominant in KCSE



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Education minister Prof Sam Ongeri during the release of a past national exam. Boys dominated the top ten positions nationally in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) released February 29, 2012. FILE
Education minister Prof Sam Ongeri during the release of a past national exam. Boys dominated the top ten positions nationally in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) released February 29, 2012. FILE 
By NATION Reporter
Posted  Wednesday, February 29  2012 at  12:03
Boys have dominated the top positions nationally in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) released Wednesday.
In the top ten positions nationally, boys took seven while girls managed three.
The top student was Nalianya K Job of St Peter's Seminary in Eldoret followed by Gikonyo Victor Gitau and Odhiambo Emmanuel both of Alliance High School.
The top girl was Lonyangapuo E Chelagat of Alliance Girls High School and came in fourth nationally.
Maranda High School came out tops in the school ranking. Alliance High School was second while Alliance Girls School was third.
Starehe Boys was fourth while Mangu High School took the fifth position. The rest top ten schools were: Moi Girls High School, Kenya High School, MaryHill Girls High School, Pangani Girls School and Starehe Girls Centre.
Releasing the results at Mitihani House Nairobi, Education minister Sam Ongeri said there was improved performance in 16 subjects last year as compared to 13 in 2010.
The subjects that recorded better grades included Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Kiswahili among the compulsory subjects and 12 other elective ones.
He said a total of 1,930 candidates achieved a mean grade of A plain.
Prof Ongeri announced that the Education Ministry had cancelled the results of 2,927 candidates due to cheating.
"Exam irregularities are a threat to the credibility of our national examination and is a major concern to the Ministry," he said.
Only 11 out of the 47 counties were not involved in cheating. These were: Nyeri, Turkana, Laikipia, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Nyandarua, Machakos, West Pokot, Nyamira and Trans-Nzoia,
Other candidates who occupied the top ten positions nationally were: Sidney Oirere (Maranda High School);
Gachigwa Brian Ruhiu (Starehe Boys Centre); Aseta B Faith (Moi Girls High School); Kariuki Alex Murimi (Alliance High School); Tyson Odhiambo Manyara (Maranda High School) and Guyaki Oisebe (Precious Blood Riruta).
A total of 411,783 students sat for the examination.

Ongeri releases KCSE 2011 results



Alliance High School and Starehe Boys Centre and School had three students each in the top 10 male candidates while Maranda High School had two students.

St Peterfs Seminary and Moi High School Kabarak had one candidate each in the category.
Alliance Girls High School and Moi Girls High School had three students each the top 10 female candidates nationally, while Kenya High and Precious Blood Riruta had two students.

Beth Mugo in the US for treatment



By Chris Wamalwa in USA

Public Health and Sanitation Minister Beth Mugo, who is currently in the US on scheduled appointment with her doctors is well and in good spirits, the Kenyan ambassador to the US has disclosed.
Speaking to The Standard on phone, Mr Elkanah Odembo said he had visited Mrs Mugo last Friday in her apartment in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and found her looking well and in remarkably good spirits in the company of her husband and daughter.
" She was looking fantastic! She was busy working because in spite of her being here, she has continued to work. She is here with her personal assistant and together they have created an office in one of the rooms where she is staying," he said.
Public Health Minister Beth Mugo at her apartment in the US where she is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. [Photo: Chris Wamalwa]
The ambassador said he found her when she had just completed the first phase of preventative treatment for breast cancer.
The minister's absence in Kenya at the time when the country was mourning two prominent Kenyans, former ministers Njenga Karume and John Michuki who died within the same week had caused anxiety and sparked speculation both at home and the US that she may not be well.
Rumour mongering loving Kenyan social media, especially Facebook was abuzz on Wednesday with questions around the health of the minister who recently went public with news that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her absence in the country has become even more conspicuous because the ministry she heads is currently embroiled in an endless labor dispute with the government prompting workers to threaten to go on strike.
Beth Mugo is the latest public figure to be diagnosed with cancer turning attention on the disease that has become one of the leading killers in Kenya. Early this year, Mugo, 73, went public with disclosure that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer joining her Medical Services counterpart Prof Anyang' Nyong'o who has been battling prostate cancer since last year.
The two ministers are currently leading campaigns to raise awareness of cancer in the country and what Kenyans could do to minimize its spread.
Their public disclosure and recent deaths arising from the disease has further raised the profile of cancer in Kenya, which also caused the death of the late Nobel Laureate Prof Wangari Maathai among other prominent personalities.
The Minister is expected to continue with several chemotherapy regimens in the US and Kenya to keep herself cancer-free in the years ahead. Mr. Odembo said that during his visit, Mrs. Mugo informed him that she had held discussions with Senior Vice President of the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where she is undergoing treatment on a proposal where the University would support a cancer program in Kenya. The Center, based at the University of Pennsylvania is currently one of the leading research centers in the US.
The Minister, who is scheduled to complete her regimen and return to Kenya soon also affirmed that the Cancer Prevention and Control Bill was up for debate in Parliament underscoring the seriousness with which the Government was taking in regards to prevention and control of cancers in the country.

Kenyan shilling falls on Finance Minister’s comments



The Kenyan shilling lost ground against the dollar on Wednesday after the acting Finance Minister Robinson Githae said the Central Bank should prevent the local currency from appreciating beyond 82 per greenback, traders said.

Githae told Reuters he wanted a stable exchange rate and not the volatile swings that sent the local currency lurching from one record low to another last year before a sharp rally, brought on by a tightening of monetary policy.
"The shilling's weakness this morning seems to suggest a reaction by the market to the finance minister's statement that the Government prefers a slightly weaker shilling," said Kennedy Butiko, deputy head of Treasury at Bank of Africa.
At 0630 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 82.95/83.15 against the dollar, weaker than Tuesday's close of 82.75/95.
Traders said the minister's comments were negative for the shilling and would make investors think twice about investing in the country.
"You don't want to hear there is an official policy of defending the currency," said a trader, who did not wish to be named said.
Traders said inflation, which eased for the third straight month to 16.7 percent in February from 18.3 percent in January, may also be negative for the local currency as it will boost expectations of monetary easing.
The shilling has been receiving support from the high interest rates since the central bank ramped up its key lending rate to 18 percent at the end of 2011.
-Reuters

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KCSE exam results to be released on Wednesday



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PHOTO | FILE  Minister for Education Prof Sam Ongeri shows a slipper that was was used by a student to cheat in an exam during the release of KCPE results at the KNEC headquarters in Nairobi, December 28th, 2011. The results for the KCSE examinations sat at the end 2011 will be released on February 29, 2012.
PHOTO | FILE Minister for Education Prof Sam Ongeri shows a slipper that was was used by a student to cheat in an exam during the release of KCPE results at the KNEC headquarters in Nairobi, December 28th, 2011. The results for the KCSE examinations sat at the end 2011 will be released on February 29, 2012. 
By BENJAMIN MUINDI bmuindi@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Tuesday, February 28  2012 at  22:30
IN SUMMARY
  • Provincial directors of education to collect results for respective regions
The first class to complete a four-year cycle under the subsidised secondary education programme will know their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam results on Wednesday.
Education Minister Sam Ongeri will release the results at Mitihani House in Nairobi, where provincial directors of education will be present to collect the results for their respective regions. (READ: Report lifts lid on KCSE exam cheats)
A total of 413,733 candidates sat the KCSE exams in 2011 out of which 230,330 were male and 183,403 female.
The class of 2011 had 31,755 repeaters while private candidates were 8,921 under the Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) that was started by the government in 2008.
There were 339,281 students in Form One when the programme started, but the class grew to 413,733 students, who sat the KCSE exams last year.
Out of these, 74,452 students repeated Form Four and Three levels soon after completing the cycle, accounting for the increase in the numbers, the Kenya National Examinations Council said.
In terms of age, majority of the candidates who sat Form Four exams last year were 18 years (120,285) and 19 years (99,122) while those aged 17 years were 63,719.
More than 110,000 candidates were 20 years and above, with the candidature being the highest ever to sit the exam. (READ: KCSE results to be released on Wednesday)
The FDSE saw transition from primary to secondary school rise to 72.5 per cent up from 48 per cent in 2008 when the programme was started.
Due to this high level of transition, KCSE candidature is expected to reach a high of about 600,000 candidates in 2015.
Alliance High School topped last year’s Form Four exam results with a performance index of 11.2570 out of a possible 12.
Albert Kamau Wandui of Moi High School Kabarak was the best KCSE candidate with a performance index of 87.10357.
The best girl was Lydia Katini Mwangasha of Kenya High, who had a performance index of 87.04229 but ranked fifth overall.

WHISPER WHISPER WHISPER


Will Starehe boys make comeback?



By AUGUSTINE ODUOR

When Education minister Sam Ongeri released the 2010 KCSE results last year, the big question by many was 'what happened to Starehe Boys' Centre?'
The top performer had failed to make it to the top ten nationally dropping from the second position in 2009 to 11, with performance index of 10.37.
The school was even beaten by its younger sister, Starehe Girls’ Centre, which looked up to the boys’ school as a mentor, emerging nine nationally with performance index of 10.38.
And last year, for two consecutive years, its academic rival, the Alliance High School emerged the best nationally with performance index of 11.26.
Alliance wiped out competitors taking 29 of 100 top candidates nationally in 2010 results. Starehe Boys’ had only one candidate in the top 10 list, Alliance had four while Mang’u High, which produced the best candidate, had three in the top 100.
Consequently, as others celebrated improved results, Starehe Boys’ Centre were not as happy. The school attributed the poor performance to a weak class and lapses on discipline among students.
No mean achievement
But the question doing rounds in most Kenyans’ minds is whether they will be treated to the good old days of the boys in blue short and red shirt beaming with joy on TV.
School principal Paul Mugo yesterday said he was optimistic the boys have done well this time round.
"We are hoping that we have done better. We may not emerge tops but what we are certain about is that we have improved for the better," he said.
In an earlier interview with Education, Mr Mugo conceded that the marked decline in the school’s overall performance was shocking.
"Make no mistakes, the school will be right back in 2011 results. The school will strive for performance index of over 11," he said. "Last year’s candidates were disciplined. We had no incidences that interrupted our preparation. We are optimistic they will perform better than previous class."
His Alliance Boys’ High counterpart David Kariuki, said the school’s target is a mean of 11.3. However, he quickly added that the huge enrolment of candidates last year may affect the quality of grades.
Farmer’s expectations
"We expect to see few As because of the huge enrolment last year. But we are still hopeful. We can’t go to the farm and don’t expect good results," he said.
Some 413,177 candidates sat last year’s exam, an increase from 357,789 of 2010.
Other schools that Kenyans will be keenly looking at are Maseno School, Precious Blood Riruta, Bahati Girls (Nakuru), Maranda High in Siaya, Alliance Girls’ High, Moi High - Kabarak, and Moi Girls’ School - Eldoret. Others are Kanga High and Rapogi in Migori, and Asumbi in Homa Bay. These schools were among those ranked top nationally last year.
But by yesterday, Education had learnt top ministry officials were divided over whether schools should be ranked.
The school ranking has been under attack from various stakeholders for encouraging in unhealthy competition.

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