KCPE candidates in terror prone areas moved to safer exam centre

The Mokowe Arid Zone primary school. PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: KCPE candidates in terror-prone areas of Lamu have been moved to a safer centre at the Mokowe Arid Zone Primary School where they will be able to comfortably sit their exams.

The Mokowe Arid Zone was established in 1992 by the national government with the main objective of providing refuge and education to children from the Boni and Sanye minority communities in Lamu where need be.

At the moment, all schools in Basuba have remained closed for over two years now owing to insecurity due to al-Shabaab attacks and raids.

KCPE candidates from this part of the country have not set foot in class for the entire year neither have they met any teacher for that duration.

There are concerns that the KCPE candidates will not excel at the exams like most of their counterparts across Kenya who have been constantly in school and thoroughly revised for the exams.

The young girls and boys will now sit their exams at the Mokowe Arid Zone Primary School which is a full boarding institution, well furnished with all the necessary requirements for learners.

The institution is also under 24-hour security surveillance by police.

Lamu East Education officer David Nzinga said there were concerns on how the pupils would perform considering their studies haven’t been consistent as is required to guarantee a good result but added that they were hopeful that the peaceful environment at the Mokowe Arid Zone school would challenge to give it their best shot.

“They couldn’t sit the exams in their schools since they haven’t opened for the last two years due to insecurity.They have faced so many challenges but we are praying that they ace the exams.We are however confident that having been moved to the new school in Mokowe they will be peaceful and safe enough to do their best,”said Nzinga.

At Pandanguo Primary School in Lamu West,19 KCPE candidates have will now sit their exams at the Witu Primary school after their school remained shut since mid-year due to insecurity.

The school whose pupils are majorly children from the Boni minority community has remained closed since July 4 this year owing to constant attacks and raids by Alshabaab.

Majority of the KCPE candidates have been living in IDP camps with their parents who fled their villages in Pandanguo due to Alshabaab attack that left several people dead.

Parents are concerned that their children will not do as well as they would have if they had been in school throughout.

“My two sons are sitting their KCPE this year but unfortunately for them,we have been living in IDP camps at Katsaka Kairu since July this year.They haven’t been in school since then because the teachers also ran away leaving the school at a deservice.We are glad they have been moved and will their exams elsewhere but we know that will not make any difference since they lost so much.They never got to complete their syllabus and even revise for the exams,”said Abdulla Guyo of Pandanguo village.

Meanwhile,all is set for KCPE exams across Lamu with county commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo assuring all schools of adequate security measures to ensure the exams progress smoothly.

“We have ensured all schools will be closely guarded by police.Its not like we expect anything to happen during the exams but we are just taking precaution.All schools are under police surveillance.We have made similar arrangements for students in terror prone areas and so there is no cause for alarm,”said Kitiyo.