Children evictees in Mau forest to miss exam

Houses destroyed by security forces enforcing the Maasai Mau Forest evictions in Enaituyupaki village, Narok. [John Tiapukel, Standard]

Multiple Standard Eight and Grade Six candidates may find themselves unable to sit for their national examinations today due to the government’s declaration of schools constructed within the Maasai Mau forest land as illegal.

Over the past two weeks, the government has been carrying out evictions of families believed to have encroached upon the forest boundary in the Narok North constituency.

This has significantly impacted two primary schools, which were due to host candidates taking their exams this week.

Standard Eight learners were set to sit for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination, while Grade 6 students were scheduled to be assessed under the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA).

Examinations for both KCPE and KPSEA were slated to commence today and conclude on Wednesday, November 1.

The evictions have had a severe impact on residents of Medung’l and Olokurto, who have been left homeless and are currently residing in makeshift camps.

Although Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Abdi Hassan has said Enesonkoyo and Sasimwa Primary Schools will not be demolished, parents of the children attending these schools have incurred significant losses of their household belongings and currently lack proper shelter.

“The schools have not been destroyed due to the upcoming exams. However, post-exams, discussions will be held regarding their utilisation since they were constructed on forest land,” Dr Hassan said.

Parents have expressed concerns about the psychological impact of the forceful evictions on their children, who may not be in the right frame of mind to complete their exams.

Christopher Kuyioni expressed worry that his two children in Standard Six and Eight enrolled at Enesongoyo and Medungi Primary Schools might not attend classes today.

“My children lost their uniforms and exam materials during the evictions,” Kuyioni said. Their residence was among those demolished and set ablaze on Saturday by a joint security force responsible for the evictions.

The father of six said his son, Sampao Kuyioni, was supposed to write the KCPE exams, while his daughter, Simat Kuyioni, was scheduled for Standard Six exams.

The evictions kicked off after President William Ruto directed security agencies to evict settlers.

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