The Oloitokitok Boys Secondary School in Kajiado made history after the release of the 2020 KCSE examination results when 67 students scored a C+ and above.
The 67 students out of 147, who sat last year’s KCSE, are set to walk into the various public universities across the country.
This is not a mean achievement for this Kajiado county school that has been struggling for the last 31 years to cross over the 6.5 mean score point.
In last year’s KCSE, the results were as follows: A (1), A- (1), B+ (5), B (14), B- (23), and C+ (23). This is the team that drove home a mean score of 6.5986.
Only 37 students made it to university in 2019 before the arrival of the new school’s principal, Stephen Kyengo, who crossed over from Makueni county to Kajiado.
Kyengo was transferred to the county during the last delocalisation exercise done by the Teachers’ Service Commission across the county.
For the Oloitokitok community, the transfer of Kyengo to their school was a blessing in disguise given the fact that the institution he came from was one of the best performing school in his Makueni county.
The news of Oloitokitok’s brilliant performance in the last KCSE examination was awash on all the news outlets in the country after the ministry of education announced the results.
It is out of this curiosity that KNU travelled to Loitokitok to follow up this positive story and bring forth the secret behind the brilliant achievement in a school that had stagnated at one point over the years.
We sought to seek the magic behind the starling performance, which had evaded the institution for more than 30 years, and Kyengo was quick to dismiss the magic allegations associated with success by other quarters.
“What magic? This is not anything around that and we are not going in that direction. In Makueni, we have 403 schools that sit for KCSE every year and in Kajiado, there are only 80. We are not doing any comparison here but I am just trying to tell you where we have come from,” said Kyengo.
The somehow cool, but charismatic and subjective principal said that after he was transferred to the school in Kajiado, he took his time to study the numbers/statistics based on the past KCSE examinations and results.
“From the outlook, I did not seem to understand why the school was oscillating between the mean grades of 4.896 in between 1989and 5.8345 in 2019. I suggested to myself that we need to change the style and the way we will approach future exams,” said Kyengo.
The principal said that making changes, even in the way his students will have to think and focus on national examinations, would require human brains and financial resources.
He had to embark on an aggressive and elaborate exchange program of exam papers from reputable and notable schools such as Lenana, Alliance and Starehe Boys in Nairobi, among others.
Kyengo also said he sourced for the best subject teachers from around and about to visit and talk to the boys regularly.
“Everyone here, teachers and students needed some sort of motivation. We undertook many practical assignments with the students, prayed with them and I also ruled out the use of corporal punishment for the boys,” said Kyengo.
Kyengo says students should be made to believe in their future, and understand that whatever they are doing will positively impact their past.
While the principal was concerned about rewarding the best students in the school, teachers were also expecting “something”.
“Passing exams, as I had said earlier requires teamwork, discipline and collaboration between the teachers and the students,” added Kyengo.
Kyengo said while he was thinking of producing the best results, he was also grappling with how he would cut out overriding bad tail end grades in the school’s KCSE results.
The new principal had to also recreate the reading culture of the boys and at the same time redeem discipline among the students.
“I work on making the students respect teachers and not to fear them. We are looking at everything positively here,” said Kyengo, who also promises a prosperous 2021.