The top performers in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams scored two marks less than last year’s best candidate.
Rawlings Odhiambo from Kakamega Hills tied in the first spot with Olive Mwea Wachira from Riara School, Nairobi, with 453 marks.
This notwithstanding, there was a general improvement in this year’s performance.
While releasing the results at Star of the Sea Primary School in Mombasa, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said more than 50 per cent of the candidates scored above 250 marks out of 500.
Ms Mohamed said female candidates performed better than their male counterparts in English and Kiswahili.
Boys dominated in Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Religious Education.
Some 12,273 candidates garnered over 401 marks while those who scored 301-400 were 228,414.
Candidates who had 201-300 marks were 574,927 while those who scored between 101 and 200 were 234,573. Only 2,177 candidates scored between 1 and 100 marks.
The results for four candidates were cancelled as a result of impersonation.
“The performance, which was low in 2016, has started rising, a clear indicator that teachers are now seriously focused on their work and the candidates are working hard in class knowing that only hard work will count and not the cheating that had become common in some centres,” Ms Amina said.
A total of 1,052,364 candidates sat the examination, with the number of boys standing at 527,294 compared to 525,070 female candidates — translating to 50.1 per cent and 49 per cent respectively. Last year, 993,718 pupils were examined.
Ms Amina said there will be no second selection of candidates joining secondary schools as has been the norm in the past.
In 2017, over 9,000 candidates scored above the 400 mark.
The release of the results came barely a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta hinted that they will be released early.
President Kenyatta on Sunday said all the candidates who sat the examination will be absorbed in secondary schools and those who complete their secondary education will join universities and technical institutes.
Among education officials who were at the Star of the Sea Primary School were Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang and Kenya National Examinations Council chief executive officer George Magoha and his Teachers Service Commission counterpart Nancy Macharia. Mvita MP Abdulswab Shariff was the only politician present.