On 25th September 1974, President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta officially opened the school then known as Ngwataniro Shule ya Jomo Kenyatta. The school was opened just three weeks before the 1974 General election. Until 2017 when the school split into two autonomous schools for boys and girls respectively, it used to be a mixed boarding public school.
Sitting on a 78-acre piece of land, the school was a brainchild of former MP for Nakuru Hon. Dixon Kihika Kimani. The school name was changed to just Ngwataniro Secondary school in 1980 but in 1983, it adopted its present-day name, Jomo Kenyatta High school.
Four years after the official opening, 1977, the school had its first O’level candidates. In the following year, the first-ever TSC teacher joined the school.
Indiscipline was a huge concern in the early years of the school. It got too bad that at some point, the provincial and education offices had wanted to close it down. To curb the situation, the provincial police boss was appointed chairman of the school’s BOG.
The first-ever TSC headteacher was posted to the school in February 1978. Being an Indian by race it was believed he would exercise neutrality in this school that had been bedevilled by squabbles, indiscipline and poor academic performance.
“The school was built for 3,000 students, but at the time I took over I only found 67. Everything was in a state of decay, the laboratories had broken down, dormitories had no beds and basically, no parent wanted their child there,” says Mr Gill Singh who had just been promoted to the post of Headmaster. Before taking on the job, Mr Gill had requested the TSC to protect him from local politics.
After Moi took over as President in 1978, he didn’t make secret his dislike for Hon. Kihika Kimani. He kept accusing the school founder of interfering with the school management and before long, Kihika and the entire board was forced to resign. This was expected to bring back sanity to the school.
Mr Gill served at the school until 1992 when he transferred to Flamingo High school in Bondeni.
In 1993 the management of Jomo Kenyatta High school made changes and boys and girls started learning separately. The ultimate aim was to totally separate the school into two different schools. One for boys and another for girls. The dream was realized in 2016.