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Deaths of eight pupils in Indian Ocean affected our KCPE results, school say

EDUCATION
By Boniface Gikandi | January 1st 2016

MURANG'A: St Martin's Boys Boarding School in Murang'a has blamed poor performance in last year's Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination on trauma.

The institution lost seven of its candidates after they drowned in the Indian Ocean six months ago.

In the 2015 results, the school posted a mean grade of 343.87, down from the previous 358.51, which has been blamed on the calamity.

The deaths of Joseph Irungu, Derrick Gatimu, Ronney Kimathi, Charles Githinji, Collins Ndung'u, Cyrus Muriu and Julius Peter Kariuki in August last year during an annual retreat remained a major blow as they embraced competition among themselves.

The seven drowned as colleagues they were swimming with were rescued by beach boys and taken to nearby health facilities.

The institution located within Mugoiri Catholic Parish has been posting impressive results over the years, thus attracting hundreds of learners annually.

In 2012, it recorded a mean score of 338.34 and in the following year (2013) posted 358.40.

In 2015, the school targeted a mean score of 370, which it failed to achieve.

Headmaster Peter Maina said the calamity was to blame for the declined performance as the dead were among the best pupils in the school.

Catholic priests led by Father William Kamau joined by other professional counsellors worked tirelessly to help the school community and relatives to cope with the calamity.

"Although there had been a lot of counselling sessions  from the time of the accident to the examination, we have been affected by the deaths as we relied a lot on them.

"It's hard to forget the pupils. We have seen them grow and mature academically and they had hopes of emerging the best nationally," said Mr Maina.

In an interview in his office shortly before the results were delivered, Maina said the deceased were bright pupils, based on past internal examinations.

As is the school's tradition, candidates are taken for a retreat at the Coast annually.

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