Poverty keeps thousands from taking up Form One places

Form Ones Reporting

Form one students report at Mama Ngina Girls High School, Mombasa.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

Thousands of students are yet to report for Form One due to lack of school fees, one week after their counterparts joined secondary school.

A spot check by the Nation shows that not all the 1,171,265 students placed in secondary schools by the Ministry of Education have reported, dealing a blow to the 100 per cent transition policy. It is also a major setback in the affirmative action programme that places learners from marginalised areas and the urban poor in top national and extra-county schools.

Many parents and guardians have complained about the high cost of uniforms and other requirements. The costs of items including bedding, metal boxes or suitcases, dictionaries, shoes and personal effects go as high as Sh33,000.

Ngigi Alex Ngugi scored 404 marks in the 2021 KCPE but is yet to join Form One because his parents have no money. Alex has an admission letter from Meru School but his parents are unable to raise the Sh68,000 required to take him to school. His dream of becoming an international lawyer is in jeopardy.

“My parents want me to choose between repeating the exam or joining a local day school,” he said. His mother, Eunice Wambui, says she has no hope of raising the fees.

Tracy Mwenesi is in the same situation, having scored 405 marks at Pefa Primary School. She was admitted to Asumbi Girls in Homa Bay County. Tracy lives with a guardian, who cannot pay her fees.

Martin Mwenda’s hopes of joining Moi Mbiruri High School are dim. He scored 398 marks after being supported by the management of Morning Glory Academy. He was brought up by a well-wisher after his mentally challenged mother disappeared. He is from Kanyuru in Tharaka South sub-county.

Madimwa Ezekiel Osanya scored 404 marks at Mundika B Primary School in Budalang’i sub-county but is still at home, one week after his colleagues joined Form One. Osanya has an admission letter from Alliance High School. According to his grandfather, Joseph Madwimwa, he has tried everything to get his grandson to school but has given up hope. 

Ibrahim James Otwoma, who lives with his grandparents after his parents abandoned him 10 years ago, scored 410 marks at Lunyofu Primary School in Budalang’i. He is supposed to join Maranda High School but is still at home due to lack of school fees.

Humprey Elaar Loreh was the top candidate at Korinyang Mixed Primary School in Turkana South, having scored 404 marks. This earned the orphan admission to Maranda High School but he is still stuck in Lodwar due to lack of school fees.

Humphrey Elaar (centre).

He dreams of becoming an accountant. Another top performer still at home is Titus Rotich from Siyoi in West Pokot County. He scored 391 marks and was selected to join Maseno School but lack of school fees has halted his dreams of becoming a pilot.

Pascal Mongare is an orphan and wants to study law after secondary school. He scored 397 marks at Lake Kenyatta Primary, a public school in Mpeketoni, Lamu West. He was selected to join Maseno School in Kisumu County but is unable to raise the fees required. “My only hope is for the county government and well-wishers to do something to enable me to join Maseno School,” said Mongare.

Fordhum Junior Odhiambo was elated when he scored 390 marks at Agoro Sare Primary School in Rachuonyo South. His mother, Florence Adoyo, is a widow who washes clothes for her neighbours to raise money. He has appealed for financial support to join Maseno School. 

Fordhum Odhiambo.

Photo credit: Pool

Annastancia Angel Boriga has remained at home despite being called to join Sing’ore Girls in Elgeyo-Marakwet County. Her father, a farmhand, is unable to raise the fees. She scored 386 marks.

Lilian Adhiambo scored 385 marks and was called to Ng'iya Girls Secondary. She lives with her mother, who is struggling to raise her fees. 

Christine Adhiambo.

Photo credit: Pool

Kithaka Derick Macharia from Mbeere South has resigned to his fate since his peasant mother cannot afford to pay his school fees. His father died two years ago. Derick scored 307 marks and has a letter from Kiini High School in Chuka. 

Derick Macharia Kithaka.

Photo credit: Pool

Chilungu Chiphove is still in Ndavaya village in Kinango even though he has been admitted to Nairobi School. He scored 381 marks. His parents are peasant farmers but the long dry spell has worsened their situation.

Chilungu Chiphove.

Photo credit: Pool

Javan Otieno Okoth has been admitted to Kisumu School after scoring 379 marks but his dream could be cut short due to lack of fees. His parents are jobless and rely on casual jobs.

Judith Akinyi Kenyatta is unable to join Sinyolo Girls Secondary because her parents cannot raise the fees. She scored 352 marks. Her mother sells vegetables while her father is a farmhand.

Noah Ejakait Makokha scored 375 marks at Madende Primary School in Busia County and was selected to join St Mary’s Kibabii Boys High school. He lives with his grandmother.

David Murithi Mutua from Naari village in Buuri scored 387 marks and is meant to join Chogoria Boys. However, his mother, who is a widow, cannot afford the fees as she earns a living from washing people’s clothes and other casual jobs.

Enock Kipngeno sat his exams at Korabariet Primary School in Kuresoi North and attained 386 marks. He was admitted to Chavakali Boys High School. His parents cannot afford his school fees as his father lost his job last year.

Mary Wayua Ndunda scored 365 marks at Keaa Primary School. She has been selected to join Vyulya Girls Secondary School in Machakos, but is unable to report or even enrol at a nearby day school because her parents are unable to raise her school fees.

Chrispine Thuo Wawira is still stuck at home with little hope of ever joining secondary school. He scored 359 marks and was to report to Voi Secondary School. He has applied for scholarships, knocked on many doors for help but his efforts have been fruitless. 

Chrispine Thuo.

Photo credit: Pool

Benjamin Makori from Nyamira County has been unable to enrol at Litein High School due to financial constraints. He scored 369 marks. Evans Kipyegon Cheruiyot, from Kaplong in Bomet County, also has the same problem. He is supposed to join Njoro Boys High School.

Jacinta Anyango Oduory scored 369 marks at Igula DEB Primary School in Butul. She has an admission letter from St Joseph Girls Kitale but she is still at home due to lack of school fees. After scoring 341 marks at St Antony Sindo Academy, Sylvester Okeyo is expected to join Kibabi High School, but his family is struggling to raise the fees.

Christine Kwamboka Mosoti was supported through primary school by her aunt, who is now unable to raise her secondary school fees. She scored 309 marks and was expected to join Riokindo Girls. 

Christine Kwamboka.

Photo credit: Pool

Cynthia Kemunto Nyabuto is unable to enrol at Kereri Girls. Her mother is suffering from cancer while her father is a boda boda rider and cannot raise the fees. She scored 302 marks. 

Nyakundi Kerubo Abigael scored 333 marks. She has been called to Singore Girls in Elgeyo-Marakwet. However, her single mother, who is a casual labourer, cannot raise the Sh40,000 required.

Christine Adhiambo has been unable to join Sigoti Complex Girls after scoring 308 marks. She is an orphan and lives with her 79-year-old grandmother. 

Christine Adhiambo.

Photo credit: Pool

Reporting by David Muchunguh, Mwangi Muiruri, Alex Njeru, Kalume Kazungu, Mercy Koskey, Faith Nyamai, Millicent Mwololo, Siago Cece, George Odiwuor, Okongo Oduya, Angeline Achieng, Wycliffe Nyaberi, Derick Luvaga and Kassim Adinasi

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