Magoha storms slum, orders admission of duo to Form One

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021 00:00 |
Education CS George Magoha (left) with Biosa Zole and her mother Fatuma Charo at their home in Mombasa. The CS directed that Zole be enrolled in Form One. Photo/PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

Harrison Kivisu, Munira Mandano and KNA

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha yesterday ordered that two Form One students in Mombasa who are yet to report to school due to lack of fees be enrolled immediately.

During the early morning door-to-door search of learners, Magoha met the two pupils in Bangladesh in Jomvu constituency and directed that they be given government sponsorship.

They are Biosa Hassan Zole, 15, who scored 355 marks in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Moses Wafula who scored 394 marks.

Through government sponsorship, Zole was immediately enrolled at Mama Ngina Girls School in Mombasa.

“I was to report to Moi Forces in Mtongwe but my mother did not have money to take me there.

Today I am happy to join my dream school where I hope  to achieve my dreams,” said a joyful Zole, who wants to be a doctor.

Zole’s mother Fatuma Charo told the CS how she had failed to enroll Zole at Mama Ngina Girls because the little she earns from washing clothes cannot not cover the fees.

Lags behind

“The money I make from washing clothes is too little to raise fees for my daughter. She is a bright girl and I am sure she will achieve her dreams,” said Charo.

Wafula, 16, will join Shimo La Tewa Secondary school in Mombasa.

“I had tried all avenues but I didn’t get help. I lost my job as a casual labourer in a container freight station but I thank God the government has seen my struggle,” said Alfayo Sindani.

“Children who finished class eight last year must go to school, even those who are pregnant or have babies. We want to find out where these pupils are,” Magoha said.

He expressed concern that parts of the Coast region had lagged behind in transition to secondary school.

The region, he said, had 60 per cent transition compared to other counties which have achieved the 100 per cent transition.

“The Coastal region is still lagging behind from the records we have. And that is why we are asking the local administration to carry out a full operation to return them to school,” Magoha said.

He blamed the low transition in the region to poverty and a negative attitude towards education.

“Poverty is everywhere so let this not be an excuse for parents not to take their children to school,” he said at Mtakuja village, Matuga constituency in Kwale.

He noted that 40 per cent of Form One students in Kwale were yet to report to school. 

“By Thursday, we want to make sure we have 100 per cent transition in Coast region and we will make sure they have gone to class no matter what,” he said.

The CS said the reasons cited for failure to transition to secondary school include pupils repeating Class Eight, pregnancies, poverty, insecurity and drug abuse.

He announced that the government had allocated Sh240 million to cater for food relief to schools in areas affected by drought.

“This will ensure no student fails to attend school because of hunger,” he said.

Kilifi and Kwale counties are some of the affected.

In Narok County, a 85 per cent transition to secondary school has been recorded.

Narok County Commissioner Evans Achoki said they are working with local administrators to ensure the remaining 15 per cent are accounted for before the end of the term.

“We are stepping up the campaigns to ensure all pupils who completed Class Eight join Form One,” he said.

Achoki warned parents who are holding their children at home of dire consequences saying they are entitled to education.

He asked those who are not satisfied with schools they were admitted to seek assistance at the education department.

“We understand some children could have received an invitation letter from schools located very far from their home.

If the parents cannot afford the transport, then inform the department of education so that they can advise on an alternative school,” he said.

In Loitoktok, an 88 per cent transition rate has been achieved.

Sub-county Director of Education Laban Siwili said only 580 out of 5,033 candidates who sat KCPE had not joined Form One.

He said they are working with relevant stakeholders to ensure the remaining learners report to school as soon as possible.

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