School fees hitch dims hope for KCPE stars

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By COLLINS OMULO
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Despite scoring impressive marks in the 2016 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination, some students are staring at a bleak future as their parents are unable to afford secondary school fees.

The schools they have been admitted to will now give up their slots after the reporting deadline elapsed.

Students started reporting to school on January 9 and the last reporting day was January 16.

For Bwire Emmanuel Juma, his education dreams might have to take a back seat despite his outstanding performance in the examination.

Bwire, the last-born in a family of six, scored 395 marks out of 500 at Fekija Vision Centre in Kayole, Nairobi County.

His father, Joseph Odero, a jua kali electrician said he was unable to raise the Sh53,554 needed per year for his son to study at Butula Boys High School. His bid to get help from banks has been fruitless.

In Mwiki, Nairobi, another family is facing the same challenge. Steven Odhiambo Onduto, an orphan, scored 371 marks, emerging second at Murema Primary School, but is yet to join Malindi High. The boy lost his mother three months ago and now lives with an aunt, Ms Jacinta Njeri Atieno, who does manual labour to fend for a family of nine.

“The mother, who was baking doughnuts, died three months ago, leaving behind three children. I have four children. I wash clothes for people and my husband is a manual labourer,” Ms Atieno told Nation last week.

Nicole Wangu faces a similar scenario. She is distraught after failing to report to school and is now staring at a bleak future.

Last year, she was forced to drop out of school in Form One because of lack of fees and opted to go back to Class Eight with the hopes of finally getting sponsorship to pursue secondary education.

The 15-year-old got 390 marks at Wangu Primary School in Dandora and has been selected to join Karima Girls in Naivasha. Her mother, Josephine Wanjiru, said she has been unsuccessful despite trying to get on Equity Bank’s Wings to Fly scholarship programme.

In Githurai, another parent is wondering how to pay for his daughter’s education. Wilson Muriuki said he had tried everything to get money to take his daughter to Naromoru Girls Secondary School without success.

“I was working at Kenyatta University but I was terminated and now I hawk jackets for a living. I have three children and my wife is working in a salon where she is just being paid a commission. I have tried the KCB scholarship, Family Bank and even constituency bursaries without success,” said Mr Muriuki.

His daughter, Lucy Wangui, scored 380 marks but is now contemplating working as a house help.

Additional reporting by Agewa Magut

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