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Man, 45, back to class 26 years after sitting KCSE

RIFT VALLEY
By Stephen Rutto | August 25th 2021

Martin Kimosop (centre) with his Geography teacher Edwin Kiprono during a lesson at St.Francis Kimuron Secondary School. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

At 45, one would perhaps be taking stock of their accomplishments after years of working and building life.

They say 45 is middle age. For career men and women, planning for retirement would be central.

But Martin Kimosop, 45, has decided to return to secondary school, 26 years after posting a C- (minus) in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).

Mr Kimosop decided to enroll in Form Two at St Francis Kimuron Secondary – a boys’ school in Keiyo North, Elgeyo Marakwet County, when schools opened for first term early this month.

It is a slightly warm afternoon at Kimuron Secondary School and we find Kimosop clad in a light blue shirt, a navy blue necktie, and grey trousers. He is keenly taking notes as his geography teacher, Edwin Kiprono, teaches. 

A face mask, well-shaved hair conceals his real age, but a keen observer would still notice he is the oldest student, not just in his class, but in the entire school.

He is also older than more than half of the teachers, and for the two weeks he has been a student, teachers say he is one of the most obedient students.

Kimosop’s admission into the school is as intriguing as his desire to return to school to learn with boys younger than his last-born son.

“I sat KCPE in 1990 at Tapach Primary School in West Pokot, but I could not transit to secondary school. Later, I joined Form One at St Daniel Kaptabuk and completed my studies in 1995,” he says.

He continues: “I posted a C minus and I couldn’t proceed to college due to lack of school fees. I got married in 2000 and had three children who have now completed their education. It is now my turn to pursue my education.”

Kimosop says he established a library at his home in Sambirir, Marakwet East Constituency after completing secondary school and has been avidly reading books.

After scoring a C minus, Mr Kimosop says he worked as an untrained teacher in a primary school in West Pokot before turning to farming. He says he wants to be a broadcast journalist after completing his university studies.

“I target a B plus in the 2023 KCSE. I have decided to start at Form Two so that I get adequate time to study and prepare for a better grade. I am happy because the students see me as their father. I talk to them at the dormitory and during games,” says Kimosop.

He says he pays his school fees from his farming ventures. At school, his favourite subject is English and Mathematics.

“My wife Sheila Kimosop runs a business at home and has been supportive. She gave me the green light to return to school and agreed to run our home as I study,” the student says.

“I told my friends and neighbours about my return to school and they ridiculed me. They said I should have used the school fees money to start a business instead of wasting it in school.” he said.

Kimosop is upbeat. “But I am determined to study and sit KCSE again. Even if given a million shillings to quit, I will not,” he says.

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