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Revealed: Surprise schools in KCSE top list

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By OUMA WANZALA
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Little-known schools snatched the coveted top positions in the KCSE results released on Friday, even as Nairobi’s Strathmore emerged number one nationally.

Kericho’s Moi Tea Girls was number three ahead of such giants as Alliance, Mang’u and Kenya High, while Kisima Mixed in Nyandarua emerged number seven.

Homa Bay’s Orero Boys was number nine, beating established schools like Maseno, Maranda and Starehe as Segero Adventist beat traditional star Kapsabet Boys.

The compilation of 35 schools based on data collected from across the country shows public schools took 21 positions while private schools had 14 slots.

Strathmore School, which had 84 candidates, recorded a performance index of 72.2 points while Moi High School Kabarak came second with 72.1 and had 330 candidates.

Kabarak had 16 candidates in the top 100 best candidates across the country released by the Kenya National Examinations Council on Friday while Strathmore had none.

Last year, Strathmore was position 13 while Kabarak was position 11.

Moi Tea Girls emerged third best school with a performance index of 69.5 having registered 136 candidates.

Sing’ore Girls’ High School from Elgeyo-Marakwet County topped last year’s KCSE with a performance index of 69.9 per cent.

However, this time round it did not make it to the best performing 35 schools analysed by the Nation.

Knec did not rank schools despite President Uhuru Kenyatta having signed into law the Kenya National Examinations Council (Amendment) Bill in 2016.

The council instead released the list of best 100 candidates and most improved candidates across the county.

The law made it compulsory for the examiner to rank schools based on their performance in the national primary and secondary examinations. Ranking was scrapped by former Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi in 2014.

In the 2018 results, traditional giants such as Nairobi School and Lugulu Girls did not make it to the list.

Pangani Girls, which produced top candidate Juliet Otieno for the second year running, is ranked position 18 with 295 candidates.

In last year’s results, Pangani Girls produced the best candidate nationally, Karimi Naomi Kawira, who scored an A Plain grade of 87.011. Starehe Boys’ Centre, which over the years has been a top performer, is ranked 21 with a performance index of 62.7 and had 256 candidates.

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Maseno School, which produced the best male candidate, James Kaluna and who was second nationally with a performance index of 87.3, is ranked 24 with a performance index of 62.4 and had 436 candidates. Maranda School with 628 candidates is position 30 with a performance index of 61.

Seven extra county schools also made it to the list of institutions analysed by the Sunday Nation — Moi Tea Girls, Precious Blood Riruta, Orero Seconday, Agoro Sare, Kyeni Girls, Mutira Girls, and Metkei Secondary.

Alliance Girls’ High School, which last year was position three with 394 candidates, dropped to position four with a performance index of 69.4. It had 396 candidates. Light Academy Mombasa, which was second last year, dropped to position 33.

Light Academy Nairobi was ranked position 19 while Light Academy Mombasa was position 33, a drop from position two last year. Kenya High, which was position four last year, is position 19 this year.

Last year it had a performance index of 68.2 and this year it has a performance index of 67.2. Loreto High School, which was position five last year with a performance index of 68.1, is now ranked position 22 with a performance index of 62.6.

Alliance High School recorded an improvement in results this year with a performance index of 69.2 and had 399 candidates and was position five. Last year the school was ranked position nine with a performance index of 66.7.

Kisima Mixed Secondary in Nyandarua dropped by one position to position seven down from position six last year while Moi Girls Eldoret, which was position seven last year, moved to position 11 this year.

Alliance High School produced the highest number of students in top 100 at 15 candidates while Moi High School Kabarak produced 10 candidates, Pangani Girls had two students, Mangu High school had four students, Lenana School had two, while Maseno School had six candidates.

Others were: Alliance Girls with three students and Kapsabet High School with seven candidates.

The number of candidates who scored a mean grade of A Plain rose from 142 (0.02 per cent) in the 2017 KCSE examination to 315 (0.05 per cent) in 2018.

The number of candidates with minimum university entry qualification of C+ and above is 90,377 (13.77pc) compared to 70,073 (11.38pc) in 2017.



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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

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Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

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However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health

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Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

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Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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