As Form One students report to school on Monday, August 2, 2021, 13-year-old Khalid Hassan might not be one of them, despite securing admission to Meru School.
Hassan sat his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam at Isiolo Barracks Primary School and scored 378 marks.
But his admission to Meru School has not brought much excitement as his mother is unable to raise the required fees.
“He had threatened to harm himself because of desperation. It pained him that he worked hard and got good results but I cannot not raise his school fees,” says his mother Sadia Ido Hassan, a single mother.
After getting information of the boy’s desperation, residents of Kiwanjani village on the outskirts of Isiolo town, where Hassan and his mother live, notified Isiolo Parents Association Chairman Ismael Galma, who accompanied them to seek assistance through the media.
No help from leaders
Hassan is even more disappointed after he failed to get any assistance from some leaders and sponsors whom he had approached hoping to get help to proceed to high school.
The boy says he had applied for the Elimu and Equity Group’s Wings to Fly scholarships and was even invited for interviews but was not lucky to get sponsorship.
“I was so optimistic considering that I had also applied for the scholarships offered by the KCB Bank. It pained me considering that my elder siblings used to encourage me while in school to work hard to get a scholarship,” he told Nation.Africa during an interview in Isiolo town.
Due to financial constraints, the single mother of eight, who sells vegetables, had even asked her son to shelve plans of joining secondary school.
“I had asked him to just stay at home because I am not in a position to pay his fees. The Sh300 I make from my business is not even enough to sustain the family’s needs,” she said.
Mr Galma decried what he termed as unfairness in the recent selection of needy learners to benefit from various scholarships programmes.
“It is so unfortunate that such a bright and needy boy was not picked for scholarship despite coming from a humble family,” Mr Galma said.
He blamed local leaders for not helping such needy cases through county and National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) bursaries.
He said majority of the parents are reeling from the adverse effects of Covid-19, drought and insecurity, which have affected their sources of livelihood.