, NAIROBI, Kenya, March 2 – The 2009 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) top candidate David Gathuku Ndung\’u says he wants to pursue Electrical engineering at the university.
Speaking to Capital Newsbeat, Gathuku attributed his performance to hard work and commitment.
“For now I plan on continuing with college. I am in Strathmore pursuing a diploma course and thereafter I expect to pursue a course in Electrical Engineering at a local University,” he pointed out.
Mr Gathuku could not hide his joy at having prevailed beyond his wildest dreams.
The 18 year old former Mangu High School student had the best performance index of 87.26 and beat 337,404 students countrywide.
“I am feeling very ecstatic since the examinations exerted a lot of pressure on me. But now that they are out I can now relax a bit,” he said.
Mangu High school Principal Henry Raichena described Gathuku as a hard working and disciplined student.
He said that Gathuku had been very consistent in his grades during his four years at the school.
Mr Raichena however expressed concern over the poor performance of girls in last year\’s examinations.
“At Secondary school, girls have normally very few distractions and they tend to concentrate more on their studies as they are expected to perform well,” he said.
“Their absence from top 10 numbers nationally is something that requires very serious thought,” he stated.
He advised this year\’s KCSE examination candidates to prepare well for their upcoming examinations.
“Those who are waiting to sit KCSE this year should start their preparations as early as possible but some of them imagine that they are very intelligent and have a lot of time,” he stated.
“As a result of this, they are not too serious on their preparations of the KCSE exams.”
Alliance Boys High Schools dominated results in Central Province producing nine out of 10 best students there.
Boys dominated the top 10 positions with the best girl Grace Njunge Wambui of Moi Girls taking position 11.
Education Minister Sam Ongeri said students\’ performance in the examinations improved slightly compared to 2008 with a total of 81,048 candidates scoring at least an aggregate of C+, which is the minimum grade required to qualify for university admission.
Exam cheating was also down with a total of 69 schools penalized for the vice.
The Kenya National Examinations Council did not rank schools but only provided a list of the top candidates.
The criteria introduced two years ago, is meant to discourage irrational competition which has seen some students cheat to top the charts.