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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Northeastern schools hope to defy insecurity, teacher shortage to perform well in KCPE

By Nicanor Ndiege

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Schools closed for the April holiday to give room for administration of the countrywide KCPE and KCSE examinations.

However, among other parts of the country, leaders, education stakeholders and parents from the Frontier counties will be keen to see how candidates from the region perform in 2020 KCPE examination.

Northeastern region has borne the brunt of deadly terror attacks by the Somalia-based al Shabaab terrorist group.

The terrorism activities in the region have occasioned mass exodus of government teachers leaving pupils on their own.

A case in point is when TSC posted 120 teachers to four sub-counties of Holugho, Ijara, Fafi and Liboi in Garissa County in January 2021 but none reported for duty at the 118 schools.

The no-show teachers said they feared attacks by al Shabaab terrorists who have targeted non-local teachers in previous attacks.

Garissa KNUT Executive Eecretary Abdirizak Hussein confirmed the teacher shortage crisis saying that although teachers were recruited and posted, “They never reported.”

“It is three months down the line since the teachers were recruited and posted to various schools in the sub counties but as we speaking today, not even a single teacher reported,” he said.

The outbreak of Covid-19 and the resultant closure of schools added salt to injury when the pupils had to stay out of class for months.

However, despite all these challenges, data from the KNEC indicate that candidates in hotspot counties of Garissa, Wajir and Mandera have always performed better than expected in the KCPE.

In the 2019 KCPE examination, St Peters ACK, a private school in Garissa, produced the region’s top candidate with 408 marks. The school recorded a mean score of 380, the best in the region.

In Wajir County, Hassan Adan Keynan, from Alfurqan Integrated Academy, scored 397 marks while Mandera’s best pupil, Khalid Kheiry Yusuf from Lafey Primary School, scored 407 marks.

Garissa County, Bura MCA Abdullahi Omar however asked how the Education ministry expects students to sit for this year’s KCPE and KCSE national exams and perform adequately without teachers.

“These children were at home for almost a year, and when they went back, there were no teachers yet they are expected to sit the same exam like their colleagues elsewhere. Where is the fairness there?” Omar asked.

However, KCPE exams is set to begin on March 22 and end on March 24 for 1,187,517 candidates and the whole country will be waiting with baited breath to see the performance countrywide.

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