As Form One pupils prepare to join secondary schools from Monday next week, a pupil in Bungoma who scored 402 marks may have to repeat Standard Eight after she was knocked out of the County Scholarship Programme under unclear circumstances.
Diana Nyaboke, who sat her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) at Bungoma D.E.B Primary School, was set to join Moi Girls’ High School, Eldoret.
The county scholarship programme, the family says, was her only hope to clear the Sh53,554 fee required.
Her mother, Priscila Nyanchera, a hawker in Bungoma town, said she was saddened that her daughter was no longer on the list of beneficiaries even after she was picked by county officials in May.
Her hopes were dashed on Monday when Governor Wycliffe Wangamati unveiled the list of beneficiaries and her daughter’s name was not among them.
When they tried to find out what had happened, Ms Nyachera said, a county official said they had determined that she was capable of paying school fees on grounds that she was a landlord.
“A landlord where now? I am a tenant who struggles to pay Sh3,000 rent,” Ms Nyanchera says.
She says she has another child at Friend’s School Bokoli, and that settling both their fees will be a huge pain for her.
"I am humbly appealing to anyone who can assist me educate my child to come out and support me. I am so worried since I do not know what to do and it's only four days to Form One admission,” Ms Nyanchera says.
Her daughter, Nyaboke, wants to join the Eldoret-based academic giant, she said, and go on to become a lawyer.
"My parents are unable to pay my fees and they are now forcing me to repeat Class Eight," the minor told Nation.Africa.
Nyaboke’s primary school headteacher Tobias Khisa described her as a hard working girl who was among the best in the county.
"She was so happy when she came here with her mother to collect her calling letter to Moi Girls Eldoret and we were very happy since she had also been picked to benefit from the County scholarship programme. How her name was later removed from the list is still not known," he said.
"I have now decided to have her back in class to repeat. But if anyone will come out and assist her to join Form One, we will be grateful," he added.
If she repeats, the headteacher said, it will discourage other students who will find it unusual for someone who performed so well to do so.
"We have been encouraging our pupils to perform well and if this girl misses out on this chance to join her dream school, it will not only affect her but also other learners," he said.
Responding to queries, Bungoma County Education Executive Dr Betty Mayeku said that the girl might have been left out of the list due to an error.
She said that she had instructed her officers to pick up the matter.
"There is no cause for alarm. That might just have been caused by a mix-up that could have happened when the final list was being made but we shall sort it out," she said.