Cardinal Otunga High holds thanksgiving, gears up for position one nationally 

The school, which was position two nationally last year, is targeting position one this year.

Invited guests and a section of the school management join Chief Principal Albert Ombiro (right) in cake cutting during thanksgiving on May 26, 2023, at Cardinal Otunga High School grounds. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
Invited guests and a section of the school management join Chief Principal Albert Ombiro (right) in cake cutting during thanksgiving on May 26, 2023, at Cardinal Otunga High School grounds. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
  • The school’s Chief Principal is constantly equipping the institution to further reclaim its glory of topping the national examinations and becoming Kenya One.
  • In 2022 KCSE, all students from the school qualified for direct university entry.
  • All the students who scored an A in 2022 national examinations were awarded during the celebration.

I request for holistic support because, indeed, that is all we need—supporting all our academic programs

Albert Ombiro, Chief Principal.

As the 2023 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations draw nigh, schools are setting their ducks in a row, ensuring every mind and detail harmonizes with their target mean.

On May 26, 2023, Cardinal Otunga High School Mosocho, now fondly known as “Kenya Two”, after emerging second nationally in KCSE 2022, held a Thanksgiving ceremony at the school’s grounds in Mosocho, Kisii County. 

The event was a time of thanking God for gracing them to shine in last year’s examinations, and the parents and stakeholders for their support.

 Last year’s KCSE top students were also rewarded, while giving quality nuggets to the current class, which is burning the midnight oil ahead of the examinations. 

Remember, the school had a mean score of 10.76 in last year’s examination, which was set by the Pacesetters (form four class of 2022), and is poised to excel even better. 

All students qualified for direct university entry.

Entrance to Cardinal Otunga High School Mosocho. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Cementing target mean

This event rubberstamped the unveiling of the school’s target mean for KCSE 2023 on May 12, 2023, which saw them raise the bar to a target mean of 11.00+ for the 432 Conquerors (2023 form four students) being equipped for the conquest. 

Mr. Albert Ombiro (second right), Chief Principal Cardinal Otunga High School Mosocho, Dr. Robert Wafula (second left), Chief Guest, join other guests and stakeholders during the unveiling of 2023 KCSE target mean and revision program at the school's grounds. PHOTO/FILE.
Mr. Albert Ombiro (second right), Chief Principal Cardinal Otunga High School Mosocho, Dr. Robert Wafula (second left), Chief Guest, join other guests and stakeholders during the unveiling of 2023 KCSE target mean and revision program at the school’s grounds. PHOTO/FILE.

Radiating the fame Cardinal Otunga High School Mosocho has already earned through its exceptional results, the occasion was attended by:

Kisii County government leadership, led by Senator Richard Onyonka, who also represented Ezekiel Machogu, Cabinet Secretary for Education and the Chief Guest; 

Daisy Nyongesa, Former nominated Senator Kakamega County; Anthony Kibagendi, area Member of Parliament Kitutu Chache South constituency; Joseph Mairura, Bishop, Kisii Diocese; 

Front row, from left: Richard Onyonka, Senator, Kisii County; Anthony Kibagendi, MP, Kitutu Chache South constituency; Ebbie Kegode, Assistant Director (Quality Assurance & Standards) Nyanza Region; Dr. Robert Wafula, the school’s mentor, and other guests follow proceedings during the thanksgiving service. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

Regional Education Office leadership, led by Ebbie Kegode, Assistant Director (Quality Assurance & Standards) Nyanza Region; County Education Board (CEB), led by Prof. Henry Onderi, CEB Chairperson;

Francis Kooli, Police Commander, Bungoma County; Elizabeth Atemi, Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Kitutu Central Sub-County; Principals from other schools from within and outside Kisii County; the school alumni; parents and students, among other invited guests.

Thanking God

In a mass led by Bishop Mairura, he reminded the congregation that to give thanks is a noble act, a recognition of the wisdom and humility bestowed upon humans by the Creator.

Joseph Mairura, Bishop, Kisii Diocese leading the thanksgiving mass. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
Joseph Mairura, Bishop, Kisii Diocese, leading the thanksgiving mass. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

He highlighted the need to remain in sync with spiritual requirements, with submission to God in all endeavors.

“God calls us to be in fellowship with Him in everything that we do,” he implored.

Turning to the young students, he challenged them to work hard until they succeed, reminding them to trust God throughout the process. 

A section of the students follows proceedings. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
A section of the students follows proceedings. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

Beyond the church’s leadership, which was termed vital and evidently productive by different speakers, the institution has also been under the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Robert Wafula, a Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. 

Educating the heart

In his speech to the congregation, Dr. Wafula reminded everyone that by putting their minds, efforts, and focus together, they can position the school to achieve its target results.

Dr. Wafula motivating the students. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
Dr. Wafula motivating the students. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

He further underscored how paramount education is to not only the children but also to the future of the entire society. 

“There is no better thing than giving them education, and even educating their heart, for them to serve communities with empathy,” he said.

Dr. Wafula appreciated and called for further support from all stakeholders, reminding them, “We are celebrating on one hand while understanding and preparing for the monumental task yonder.”

Parents and guardians follow proceedings. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
Parents and guardians follow proceedings. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

Cardinal Otunga High has been under the firm stewardship of Chief Principal Albert Ombiro since early this year.

He is constantly equipping the institution to further reclaim its glory of topping the national examinations and becoming Kenya One.

He enjoys the support of David Mayaka, Deputy Principal Administration, and Gerald Ayiera, Deputy Principal Academics.

Mr. Ombiro addressing the students and stakeholders. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka,  Scholar Media Africa.
Mr. Ombiro giving his remarks during the occasion. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

Ready for success

In his speech, he credited the excellent results to the support and belief accorded to the school by the sponsor (Catholic Church), the Board of Management (BoM), parents, the school teaching and support staff, and the hardworking students. 

Expressing his joy for past success and demonstrating confidence in achieving the target mean, he assured the audience that the Conquerors are prepared to defend their excellence and even go higher. 

The school's chapel. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
The school chapel. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

“I request for holistic support because, indeed, that is all we need—supporting all our academic programs,” he said.

Population, infrastructure

The school has over 2500 students currently, distributed in 39 streams, and has 20 dormitories to accommodate them.

They have 75 teachers employed by the Teachers Service Commission and 30 BoM teachers. 

A section of the teachers being introduced during the event. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
A section of the teachers being introduced during the event. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

For ease of operation and seamless, timely academic assistance to the students, the school houses a whopping 40 teachers. 

Cardinal Otunga High’s excellence may hide its other side of the coin, and it’s worth noting that, as an institution, it has also been facing several impediments.

One of the tuition blocks. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
One of the tuition blocks. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

Not without challenges

“Due to the increasing number of learners in our school, there is dire need for us to enhance our infrastructure. There is need for expansion of the dining hall, and expansion and repair of the laboratories,” Mr. Ombiro noted.

He also reminded the congregation that the school has a stalled main hall building that requires completion, calling upon the Education Ministry to consider supporting them for completion.

Students queuing outside the dining hall. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
Students queuing outside the dining hall. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

The classes and teachers’ quarters also need renovation, just the same way “…we need a wall for security, especially in the front area of the school,” said the principal. 

Remember the school opened its doors in 1961 under the name St. James Secondary School, then located at Nyabururu Catholic Mission.

One of the 20 dormitories at Cardinal Otunga High School Mosocho. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
One of the 20 dormitories at Cardinal Otunga High School Mosocho. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

Over time, it has grown from a handful of students, weathered the challenges of time, excelled, made history, and qualified myriad students for campus, and now deserves renovation, expansion and improvement.

To keep the famous school on top of the curve, Mr. Ombiro called upon all stakeholders to join him and play their part in catapulting Cardinal Otunga High School to the success it deserves. 

Word from deputies

Mr. Mayaka confirmed that the students are entirely disciplined and supportive.

A random photo of some of the school’s prefects. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

He urged all students to stay disciplined: “Discipline builds up a good character and positive attitude in students—a crucial component in academic excellence.”

Drumming for his docket, Mr. Ayiera revealed, “…early completion of the syllabus, numerous tests and exams, constant consultation with teachers, BoM support and the learners’ zeal enabled us surpass our academic target.”

Prof. Onderi wished them well, indicating that the school reclaimed its glory.

“We are waiting for your results and look forward to celebrating you next year,” he challenged the 2023 Class. 

Prof. Henry Onderi, County Education Board Chairperson, addressing the gathering. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
Prof. Henry Onderi, County Education Board Chairperson, addressing the gathering as other regional and county academic leaders look on. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

The BoM Chairperson, Rev. Fr. Rogena Dennis, also joined his colleagues in thanking God for last year’s victory and showed confidence in outshining all other competitors in the forthcoming national examinations. 

Much to be done

Acknowledging that much needs to be done for continued success, he noted that as BoM, “We are committed to developing programs and initiatives that will help our students excel in their studies and prepare them for the challenges of the future.

BoM and PA members. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
BoM and PA members. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

This includes additional support to struggling students, providing mentorship and spiritual guidance, and developing partnerships with local businesses and universities to provide practical experience and further educational opportunities.”  

On her part, Magdalene Gesare, Head of Quality Assurance and Standards Office (QASO), and the Class Coordinator of the 2022 Class (Pacesetters), acknowledged their resilience, discipline, and hard work, which was their genius stroke for the success they are now celebrating.

Magdalene Gesare, Class Coordinator of the 2022 Class, addresses the congregation. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

“Walk with pride, for the future is in your hands. Go out there and conquer the world,” she enthused the alumni representing the 2022 group, spurring up the 2023 class to take up the baton and run with focus and determination.

Parents’ efforts

The parents were well-represented by their PA Chairperson, Keng’ara Bw’omayo, who highlighted how they support the school.

“The parents are in the progress of putting up a modern multi-purpose hall for our students and a perimeter wall for the security of our dear sons,” he explained.

PA Chairperson, Keng’ara Bw’omayo giving his remarks. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
PA Chairperson, Keng’ara Bw’omayo, giving his remarks. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

He further appreciated the old boys for their continued support financially and for being the school’s ambassadors. 

“The parents association is willing, ready and available to the teachers and students to realize this year’s academic target,” the PA Chairperson assured.

In her remarks, Prof. Margaret Barasa, Chair of the Education Committee in the BoM, indicated that while this famed success may be a surprise to many, “We planned and worked for it day and night.”

Prof. Margaret Barasa, Chair of the Education Committee in the BoM, delivering her speech during the thanksgiving ceremony. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
Prof. Margaret Barasa, Chair of the Education Committee in the BoM, delivering her speech during the thanksgiving ceremony. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

She urged the Conquerors to conquer the 2023 KCSE examinations by working hard and staying focused. 

Principals from around and outside Kisii County had also joined their colleague principal to celebrate his school’s success while also benchmarking.

Principals of schools in and outside Kisii County being introduced during the occasion. Speaking is Joyce Orioki, Principal Nyabururu Girls High School. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

Speaking on behalf of the over 20 principals present, Joyce Orioki, Principal Nyabururu Girls High School, congratulated “Kenya Two” for its stellar results, wishing them good luck as they soar higher to break the glass ceiling. 

On national map

On the political side of the event, Anthony Kibagendi, area MP Kitutu Chache South constituency, appreciated that the results placed the constituency on a national map. 

Anthony Kibagendi, area MP Kitutu Chache South constituency speaks during the event. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
Anthony Kibagendi, area MP Kitutu Chache South constituency speaks during the event. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

Kisii County Senator, Richard Onyonka, who also represented CS Machogu, thanked the parents, teachers, and all other stakeholders for their unwavering support to the school. 

Kibagendi also led in the awarding of the 28 KCSE 2022 top students who scored grade A (plain), with each student receiving a brand new laptop.

Richard Onyonka, Kisii County Senator, addressing the congregation. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
Richard Onyonka, Kisii County Senator, addressing the congregation. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.

RELATED STORY: Lofty hopes as Cardinal Otunga High School launches 2023 KCSE target mean 

The target of 11.00 by Cardinal Otunga High School Mosocho remains valid and achievable, and as Scholar Media Africa, we wish them all good fortunes.

Ogari Philip Otara (left), the school's 2022 KCSE top student, who scored an aggregate A (Plain) of 84 points, receives his award with his father (center). PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
Ogari Philip Otara (left), the school’s 2022 KCSE top student, who scored an aggregate A (Plain) of 84 points, receives his award with his father (center). PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
A section of the 2022 top students who scored an aggregate grade of A (Plain), holding their prizes. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka,  Scholar Media Africa.
A section of the school’s 2022 top students who scored an aggregate grade of A (Plain) holding their prizes. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
School bus. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
School bus. PHOTO/Boaz Khuteka, Scholar Media Africa.
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Mr. Makau holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics, Media & Communication from Moi University, Kenya. He is a Columnist and Editor with Scholar Media Africa, with a keen interest in Education, Health, Climate Change, and Literature. His contact: b.makau@scholarmedia.africa.

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