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Failed by his school? Boy attempts suicide after missing KCPE results

By Philip Muasya | April 17th 2021
The pupil of Kwa Song’e Primary School in Kitui attempted suicide on Thursday, April 15, 2020. [File, Standard]

A 16-year-old pupil of Kwa Song’e Primary School in Ikanga, Kitui South Sub-County attempted suicide on Thursday, April 15 after he missed his KCPE results.

The school had allegedly failed to register the teenager for the national test, resulting in him being locked out of the exams, which were held between March 22 and March 24, 2021.

Unware he had been struck off the list of 2020 KCPE candidates, the boy reported to school on March 22 to write Mathematics, English and Composition exams.

He was, however, removed from the exam room by the centre supervisor, who said the learner couldn’t write the tests because his name and index number had not been submitted to the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) for registration.

The boy’s grandmother, who is the guardian, said senior residents intervened, and the boy was allowed into the exam hall on March 23 and March 24, when he wrote Science, Kiswahili, Insha, Social Studies and Religious Education tests. Because he sat for only three papers, and not the entire package of five, the boy’s performance would be graded out of 300 marks, and not the total exam score of 500.

It appears the teenager’s sitting of the exam was only to manage him, as he was too devastated after learning that he hadn’t been enrolled for the national test.

After Education Cabinet Secretary, George Magoha, released the 2020 KCPE results on Thursday, April 15, the boy sought his results via SMS, but the response took him by shock.

“Dear customer, the KCPE results are either unavailable or the index number [13317124**3] does not exist,” read the message from short code service 20076.

The disappointed pupil, thereafter, attempted suicide by ingesting pesticide on Thursday mid-morning.

His younger brother found the victim writhing in pain and foaming at the mouth. The sibling, thereafter, informed their grandmother, who was working in the garden. The granny rushed the pupil to Ikanga Health Centre, located 8 kilometers from her home.

The patient, who had passed out, was stabilised at the medical facility, where he regained consciousness on Thursday noon.

The boy confessed to attempting suicide because he felt his “future had been ruined by his school”.

The teenager’s grandmother said a few days to KCPE tests, she personally went to Kwa Song’e Primary School to confirm whether her grandchild had been enrolled for the exam, and the school’s administration assured her that the boy’s name was among those listed as the 2020 KCPE candidates by KNEC.

“On March 22, the first day of 2020 KCPE, my grandson returned home while in tears. I asked what the problem was, and he said the school had failed to register him for the exam. I was helpless, as I did not know what to do,” the elderly woman told The Standard.

“I’ve taken care of this boy since he was a toddler, including financing his education. It saddens me that he missed out on the exam despite my efforts to do everything right.”

Speaking to The Standard from his hospital bed, in the presence of his grandmother, the boy said: “I felt like my world had come to an end; spending eight years in school, and having nothing to show for it in the long run is not only heartbreaking but frustrating.”

The teenager’s family, including his grandmother and elder brother, now want the Ministry of Education to intervene, and release the results of the three exams that the boy took.

“The CS pledged 100 per cent primary to secondary transition. So, it doesn’t matter how many marks my brother scored, he’ll still be allowed to join Form One. I’m appealing to the ministry to release his marks for the three exams that he took,” said the child’s sibling, who also demanded that action be taken against Kwa Song’e Primary School for alleged negligence.

The Standard sought a comment from the head-teacher of Kwa Song’e Primary School, but our phone calls or alternative communication to him went unreturned.

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