|Rufinus arap Taa, 78, sits a KCSE Kiswahili paper at Korabariet Mixed Secondary School in Kuresoi North District, Nakuru County, Thursday. [Photo: Boniface Thuku/Standard]|
By Mercy Kahenda
Nakuru, Kenya: Seated in the back left corner of the examination room dressed in a navy blue school pullover and striped tie, grey haired Rufinus arap Taa, 78, waits anxiously, clipboard in hand.
He is among the 39 candidates siting for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination at Korabariet Mixed Secondary School in Kuresoi North District, Nakuru County.
Taa is equipped with the clipboard, a ball pen, pencil, geometrical set and rubber as he waits to receive his Kiswahili examination paper from Michael Kurgat, the Kenya National Examinations Council supervisor.
On receiving his paper, Taa keenly peruses the booklet page by page to see if it has all the questions. He then writes his full name and index number – 50459575035 – before tackling the questions confidently.
At the scheduled end of the exam time, the supervisor rings the bell and all the candidates stand up to submit their papers, including the old man. Aided by a walking stick and full of joy, he walks out of the examination room surrounded by other candidates who are curious to hear how he approached the questions.
“Mtihani ya leo imekuwa nafuu kidogo au nyinyi mumeonaje?” (Today’s paper was fair; what did you think?), Taa is heard saying to fellow candidates. The father of six children reveals to The Standard that he is happy and ready to reap the fruits of his labour.
“I am so happy. I cannot imagine I am sitting for KCSE examinations after my four-year (secondary school) course,” he says smiling broadly. He adds that he is adequately prepared to face all the subjects successfully enough to enable him join university and attain his dream of becoming a doctor.
“I have revised thoroughly with the help of my teachers and group discussions with other students and I am confident I will do well,” says Taa.
He acknowledges support from teachers who gave him remedial classes and revision material, adding that the group discussions with other students enabled him improve his weak subjects.
“Today’s paper was fair compared to yesterday’s (English) though I hope to perform well in all the subjects,” he says.