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Kapsabet High School is a boys’ national school located in Kapsabet, Kenya, about 40 kilometers from Eldoret, Kenya’s fifth largest city.
History of Kapsabet High School
The school was founded in 1925 as the Government African School (GAS). It is one of the oldest high schools in the country. It was established to cater for African students at a time when schools were still segregated by the British colonialists.
It has undergone many transformations over the past century. The old school campus where the school stood at first is now used as a primary school, Kapsabet High Primary School.
KAPSABET BOYS SCHOOL IN THE 1950’S From a letter written by Mr Zan Clay who was a teacher in Kapsabet High School in the 50’s and 60’s to his mother living in America. He had come to Kenya as a volunteer teacher together with his wife Liette Autcite who would teach at the nearby mission school now Kapsabet Girls. The Kapsabet Boys’ School was founded in 1925. It consists of several one story white washed buildings, roofed with rusting red corrugated tin. Staff houses line the edge of the valley on the western periphery of the school. The school farm, which I manage, is between the school and the Mission where Liette teaches. The road to Eldoret runs between the boys’ school and the Africa Inland Mission. Five dormitories accommodate the students who attended the school. Each dormitory is named after one of the lakes in Kenya: Baringo, Nakuru, Elmenteita, Naivasha and Solai. Intramural sports and academic contest are held between houses. Each dormitory is divided into two houses, each named after prominent men. Baringo dormitory is divided into Sirgoi and Sogom houses; Elmenteita into Toiyoi and Kibiegen; Nakuru into Kibois and Talai; Solai into Maiyo and Cheruiyot; and Naivasha into Moi and Kipkenda. Academic and athletic competition is very intense here. There are two hundred and forty students, divided into four forms, or grades. Most of the students are Nandi and Kikuyu, but there are some from the Luo, Kipsigis and Maragoli tribes. There is one Masai. At the entrance of the school is a sign, in the fashion of an English coat of arms, with two stylized lions facing each other. The school is organized as a traditional British boarding school, complete with uniforms, class prefects and Cambridge school certificate exams. Prefects wear back blazers with their school badge of authority attached. There are inspections on Saturdays. If they mess up the students get a caning at the hands of the school captain; the Head Boy, a the British call him. Each morning starts with an assembly in the school hall. Students arrive in uniforms of Khaki shirts and shorts. White shirts, solid colored ties and khaki shorts are required Sunday dress. Regulation school jackets with the school badge are worn when the weather is cold and on special occasions. Believe me it can get in the lower forties at night sometimes. There is a small bookstore, a library, a recreation room and a dispensary. The assembly hall is used for Sunday chapel, assemblies, dances, debates, plays and twice-monthly films. The school has a telephone, believe it or not. Just think Mom, they had a telephone here at the school before we got one in the Pocket. There is a bus that runs between Eldoret, Kapsabet and Kisumu. Kisumu is a port town on Lake Victoria. In addition to managing the school farm, I keep the diesel generator operating that provides power to the school. Electricity is available from sundown to 10:00 p.m. I teach history, biology and physical training and am preparing fourth form students for their exams in East African History and biology. The only problem is they know more about their history than I do. I’m also house master of Nakuru House and sponsor of the Young Farmers Club. Liette teaches English and domestic science at the Mission School. She’s also in charge of school music program here and at the mission school. Gues what! She plays the pump organ for Sunday services at Saing Barnabas. That’s the Anglican Church in Kapsabet. The students want an education so bad that they are willing to lie about their age to get into school. Unofficially we have students in ther mid-twenties. I’m sure two are nearly thirty. Without a secondary education they believe the will spend their lives herding cows, working as farm laborers, or staying on the shamba of their tribal homesteads. The students are eager to learn, but believe education automatically grants success and happiness. END Excerpted From the book “Beyond the Sangres: A tale of Hope, Pain and Courage” by Wesley C. Brewer. p.225
Kapsabet is consistently ranked among the top schools in Kenya in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, an examination which is taken nationally at the completion of Secondary Education.
The school has one of the lowest acceptance rates in the country. During the 2019 admission cycle 70,921 applied for admission but only 432 were admitted (a 0.6 percent acceptance rate).
Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education national rankings from 2013 to present:
- In 2013 it was ranked 4th nationally.
- In 2014 it was ranked 2nd nationally.
- In 2015 it was ranked 5th nationally.
- In 2016 it was ranked 15th nationally.
- In 2017 it was ranked 8th nationally.
- In 2018 it was ranked 4th nationally.
- In 2019 it was ranked 2nd nationally.The school also produced the top student in the country in 2019.
- In 2021 it was ranked 1st nationally.
The school’s current board of management is chaired by Mr Simeon Arap Mining, and the chief-principal who is the CEO of the institution is Mr Kipchumba Arap Maiyo.
- Nicholas Biwott, former Cabinet Minister
- Kipruto Rono Arap Kirwa, former Cabinet Minister
- Henry Kosgey, former Cabinet Minister and Member of Parliament
- Daniel arap Moi, second President of Kenya
- William Ruto, Deputy President of Kenya (incumbent
- Stephen Sang, incumbent Governor of Nandi County and former Senator of Nandi County
- Kimaiyo Sego, former Member of Parliament and Minister for Commerce
- Julius Yego, 2016 Olympics javelin silver medalist; 2015 IAAF javelin world champion