Githunguri Township Primary School has sent 72 out of its 116 candidates (62 per cent) who sat last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary School exams to national schools. Two pupils have been admitted to ex-county schools, 18 joined county schools and 24 were admitted to sub-county schools, says Elizabeth Maina, the school’s headteacher.
However, the parents of Ng’ang’a Edwin Gichoya, who was admitted at Nakuru High School, could not raise enough funds to meet the fees, prompting the headteacher to conducted an emergency funds drive in the school community which assisted the boy to join his school of choice on February 10. A public school in Githunguri district, Githunguri Township was ranked position two in Kiambu County after Utafiti Primary School, while in Githunguri sub-county, it was the top public school, taking position two over when private schools were included.
“We make sure that our pupils have good foundation while they are still in lower classes which makes is easy for us to prepare them for the final exam in primary school,” says Maina. Maina says they do not wait for the pupils to get to class eight for them ‘to run up and down’ trying to make them perform well like what happen in other schools. She follows the teachers and pupils to ensure they complete each class syllabus on time (July each year is the deadline) and also do proper revision.
Out of the 116 pupils who sat the KCPE exams last year, 22 scored above 400 marks out of a possible 500. The 350 to 399 range had 61 pupils, of whom 27 were boys and 34 were girls. Nobody scored below 250 marks. The school broke its 2004 mean score record of 352.76 marks, setting a new record at 365.1 marks. The school’s mean score has been on an upward trend for the last few years due to team work among the teachers, parents the board of governors and the local Ministry of Education officials.
In 2008, the school had a mean score of 323.8; 2009, 329.0; 2010, 345. In the 2011, the mean score was 347.9 but dropped in 2012 to 342 only to rise to 365.1 last year. When Maina joined the school in January 2009, her main aim was to break the school’s mean score record sat in 2004. It has not been easy, and the bigger challenge is to maintain the high score set by the pupils who are joining Form One this year.
“But we are not worried at all as we will use the same trick we used last year and am sure we will make it again,” says Maina. The chairman of the board of governors, Daniel Kingoi, supports the headteacher’s sentiments that team work, discipline, fear of God as well as involving others in decision making has led to the good performance of the school. “To make sure that no pupil sneaks out of school, every student must get a school leave out form signed by the school administration.
Cases of truancy are very rare despite the school being just next to Githunguri town,” says Kingoi. They hold prayer sessions to dedicate the school to God at the start and end of every year. The school management also meets at the start of every term to strategise and set goals to be achieved during that particular term. “We make sure by July we have covered the syllabus, and from then we start revision. This enables the pupils to be well-prepared when the final exam starts,” Maina says.
The school is a mixed day and boarding, with Class One to Class Five being day scholars while the rest are boarders. During last year’s music festival, the school represented Kiambu County at the national level and in ballgames they reached the provincial level. Guidance and counselling sessions are held regularly and every second term, class eight pupils are taken on an education tour to the Coast to interact and gain exposure from well performing schools