According to the Education ministry, over 1.4 million candidates who sat for the 2023 KCPE exam will proceed to various secondary schools. This is part of the government’s plan to ensure a 100% transition from primary to secondary school education.
Out of this number, 792,230 students who sat for the national exams were selected to join these categories of schools-
- County schools-288,201
- Extra county schools-274,746
- National schools-42,927
- Special needs education schools-2,225
This article will feature the top 10 most preferred secondary schools and their principals in no particular order.
This article was updated on 21 December 2023.
1). Oliver Minishi – Nanyuki High School
Up to 158,741 candidates had the desire to join Nanyuki High School. The school’s principal, Oliver Minishi is a man with a decorated curriculum vitae and was previously in Kakamega High School
In the Kenyan education sector, Minishi holds an impeccable record. The Physics teacher has been recognized as one of the best high school drama coaches. Because many students often lack soft skills to navigate through life, Minishi’s interest in drama definitely serves to impart these skills in students.
Under his stewardship, Nanyuki High School has been posting an academic performance improvement even as the school focuses on teaching various technical subjects and integrating co-curricular activities.
2). Kabianga High School – Joash Aloo
The school located in Kericho county attracted 186,357 candidates and its principal is Joash Aloo. The school has a total enrolment of over 2000 students and has produced renowned prominent personalities such as former CS Charles Keter.
Aloo is a no nonsense man who previously locked out students who has not completed their holiday assignments. The boys were forced to work on the tasks before being allowed into the institution. Under his leadership, the school has also been posting good academic results and is one of the rugby powerhouses in Rift Valley.
3). Pangani Girls High School – Florence Ngarari
The school located in Nairobi’s Starehe Constituency fascinated 144,542 candidates. The reason for this is quite obvious given the institution has set and raised the bar high in consistent academic performance.
The school’s principal is Florence Ngarari and it was established in 1932, then known as Duchess of Gloucester School.
4). Maseno School – Peter Otieno
The institution is located in Kisumu County and has been a force to reckon with in academics, rugby and basketball. It was established in 1906 and is among the oldest secondary schools in Kenya.
Over 123,777 students salivated for a chance to join the school whose principal is Peter Otieno. He joined Maseno earlier this year after being transferred from Baringo.
5). Nakuru High School- Mike Yator
According to the education ministry, 115,513 pupils selected Nakuru High School as their dream secondary school. The institution was founded in 1927, then known as Francis Scott school and its principal is Mike Yator.
In 2021, the principal was on the radar of Teachers Service Commission over allegations of charging extra fees on students contrary to the ministry’s recommendation.
6). Alliance Girls High School – Virginia Gitonga
The Kiambu County based school attracted 135,033 applicants and is known to post excellent academic performance. It was founded in 1948 and has produced renowned alumni such as Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and novelist Margaret Ogola. The school’s principal is Virginia Gitonga.
7). Kapsabet Boys High School – Kipchumba Maiyo
The school, established in 1925 has in the recent years elbowed out former giants like Alliance High School to emerge the top academically. The school’s principal, Kipchumba Maiyo has been at the institution from 2010. The Nandi County school was a school of choice for 143,723 candidates.
8). Butere Girls High School – Jennifer Omondi
The school is based in Kakamega County and is also known to post exemplary academic results as well as mould talents in co-curricular activities.
Butere Girls is among the most populous schools in Kenya and currently has 41 classrooms and over 20 dormitories. The institution’s principal is Jennifer Omondi, a teacher of history and government. 114,635 students selected the school.
9). Mang’u High School – J.M Kuria
The school is located 4 miles from Thika and was established in 1925 though admitted its first students around 1940. Due to the school’s consistency in posting superb academic results, it had 112,938 candidates apply to join it. The school’s principal is J.M Kuria.
10). Moi Girls Eldoret – Juliana Kirui
Moi Girls Eldoret, located in Eldoret’s Kapsoya estate is another academic giant which attracted 92666 KCPE candidates. The school’s principal is Juliana Kirui. She joined the school from Kipsigis Girls in a colourful ceremony held late last year. Early last year, students took to protests demanding the removal of former principal Christine Chumba.