January! January! January! What a month it usually is and this one of 2020 is no different especially this week when Form Ones have the deadline to report to their respective schools for the journey of their next four years. A busy week it must be for these parents and families, more so for those whose children are going to boarding schools mostly for the first time. Depending on the family, there must have been the last supper where all members of the family sat together to share a home cooked meal. Oh what a time it must be.
I remember eleven years ago when my mother and I packed all the things I needed to start of Form One and the morning of my first day, my aunt came to pick me from home since she was the director to the place I would spend my four years. I don’t think I can remember much of this day but I am certain it was all sorts of good feelings and lots of nervousness, for leaving home. But what I was excited about was the part of growing up to learn to do things by myself, making new friends and learning my mother tongue (it was not in the plan but it became an agenda).
According to the Ministry of Education, over 1,083,000 candidates sat KCPE examinations last year and over 1,075,000 have been selected in public secondary schools. And from these numbers, you can see that there are so many young people in the 14-18 years age bracket.
As for those in day schools, life will not be so different since the routine will be pretty much the same, especially if you as the student was in a primary day school. The early morning schedule and late evening back home amidst the traffic for those in major cities in the country. Long distance travel for many others who go to school a bit far from their homes. I really do hope that this term is better than the last.
Still on the topic of Form 1s, the Ministry extended the admissions deadline to January 24 with Cabinet Secretary George Magoha committed to ensure that all students in this transition actually go to school through door to door campaign to trace the 400,000 learners who are yet to take their place in secondary school.
According to a news report by NTV on 22/1/2020, one Catherine Bwari was escorted to Machakos Secondary School by the CS after staying home for two weeks due to lack of school fees, while other students had already reported to school.
“I feel very happy to have joined this school and to wear this uniform. Thank you for paying my fees and may God bless you”, she said.
This is one learner among so many other children in Kenya who have joined school a bit later after the official opening date. Truth of the matter is that there will be many others who may not even attend school this term, or the next or the one after.
It is only my sincere hope that parents do their due diligence and enroll their children in schools for the next step of education. Yes, things are hard but there are options to explore when things become difficult. Look out for bursaries, scholarships and other avenues, but don’t let your son, daughter, nephew, niece or grandchild’s education dream go down the drain. Be their push and support.
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