Mombasa family disputes pupil's ranking as disabled

Grace Nema Katana of Havilla Academy (Mtwapa) in Kilifi County.

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi I Nation Media Group

The family of a pupil listed as one of the top-performing KCPE candidates with special needs has disputed that she is disabled.

When Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha released the results yesterday, he named Grace Nema Katana of Havilla Academy in Mtwapa, Kilifi County, as the second-best candidate in that category, with 407 marks.

But headteacher Erick Kai told the Nation that Havilla is not a special-needs school.

Mr Kai said the pupil's details were wrongly captured as she is not disabled.

"We don't segregate; we are not a special-needs school but an ordinary one. Our school is registered as a private and local school," he said.

Grace's mother Joyce Furaha also told the Nation her daughter does not have any known disability.

“My child is not disabled. She has been in the school since class four. She is very okay and normal," she said.

Grace Nema Katana of Havilla Academy (Mtwapa) in Kilifi County.

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi I Nation Media Group

In the KCPE results, five pupils from the school scored 400 and above while the last one posted 328.

Jacquiesse Ngala, the top student in that school, scored 415 marks.

Meanwhile, Philip Karani, from Likoni School for the Blind in Mombasa County, was among the top special-needs students nationally, scoring 397 marks.

Karani said the mathematics paper was the toughest for him.

"I would like to thank my teachers and parents, who stood with me. It has not been easy. I am happy and this has proved that hard work does pay off."

The 16-year-old says he would like to go to Thika High School and become an accountant later.

His mother Phedes Njoki thanked Karani’s teachers for their support.

"He is my firstborn and only child. All I can say is I am grateful to his teachers for the support they have offered, as this was not an easy journey," said Ms Njoki.

School Principal Elizabeth Ngare said Karani has done the Likoni fraternity proud.

"His life strengthens me on the power of belief. Karani believed that he would pass and he did. Nothing is impossible, He has proved it," she said.

Three of the school’s candidates scored 300 marks and above.

In 2020 only 12 students sat the KCPE exam, with the best student scoring 276.

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