Boni student scores 261 marks four years after schools closed down

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Lamu,KENYA:Parents from the Boni minority community in the terror-prone Basuba ward in Lamu are also celebrating after their top student from the community scored 261 marks in the just-released KCPE.

Parents and teachers feel the score is well deserved considering the environment that learners from the community have found themselves exposed to due to insecurity caused by numerous Al Shabaab attacks.

All the five primary schools in Basuba ward have remained closed for over four years since 2014 after teachers fled for their lives at the height of Al Shabaab attacks that left many schools in the area torched.

The five are Basuba, Milimani, Mangai, Mararani, and Kiangwe primary schools.

Learners have found themselves at fate’s mercy as many were forced to revise for their KCPE without teachers while in a few instances had to be tutored by primary school dropouts.

The KCPE candidates were however transferred to safer learning centers at the Mokowe Arid Zone primary school in Lamu west where they got to do some last minute preparations with teachers at the institution before finally sitting their exams.

Speaking at the school on Tuesday, the head teacher Omar Ile said the top Boni pupils performed exceptionally well in the exams considering the tough situation they were exposed to when their schools closed four years ago.

The top student at the school scored 317.

However, the top student from the Boni community was Ali Mohamed who scored 261 marks followed by two girls, Hawa Warre who scored 260 and Mariam Noi who scored 243.

Ile said he was proud of the Boni students and said they did they did their best.

“These are children whose schools have been closed for over four years. They never got to proceed normally with learning or revision like the rest of their counterparts countrywide. They were always living in areas considered insecure but still when they came to sit for their exams, they managed to score such grades, we couldn’t be more proud. I know if the situation had been better, they would have done more that but we appreciate them for beating the odds,” said Ile.

According to records at the school, this is the best ever performance of the Boni children compared to previous years when the performance was dismally poor.

“We have had years where the highest Boni student would score below 200 marks but this year is different. They have made it to 261 and we are glad,” he said.

Parents said they were proud of their children for making it amidst all the nasty environment caused by insecurity and Al Shabaab attacks.

Shukri Mohamed said the Boni community was looking forward to having one of their own children given the chance to join the prestigious national schools in the country.

“We have made history, For us, this is a big deal. People from other parts of Kenya might wonder why we are celebrating over 261 marks when they are talking of 400 plus but we are proud that our son could make it that far. We never imagined our children could shine especially after schools remained closed and we had to move our kids to a safer place where they could sit their exams. Our situation is different and we hope the government will give these kids a chance to join the likes of Alliance and Starehe. They are bright, all they need is the perfect environment to flourish,” said Mohamed.

Basuba ward MCA Deko Barissa urged the government to pay special attention to students from the Boni community and terror-prone areas during selection for form one placement which kicks off on December 3rd according to Education CS Amina Mohamed.

“We hope that as they conduct the placement, they will remember that there are students from these areas who sat the exams under extremely tough conditions and still emerged top. That fact simply means that they are bright minds who can flourish in the right environment. We hope the government will help us make history by admitting these kids in the top national schools,” said Barissa.

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