Heartbreaking Story of 40-Year-Old KCPE Candidate Who Missed High School Slot

  • A collage of Richard Njenga in school uniform ready for the 2022 KCPE exams
    A collage of Richard Njenga in school uniform ready for the 2022 KCPE exams
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  • As other candidates secured slots in the high schools of their dreams, 40-year-old Richard Njenga was left in limbo as all his applications fell flat

    Njenga sat for the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), got 213 marks, and was hoping to transition to the next level in his education - but that was not to be.

    Speaking to the press on Thursday, January 19, he lamented that all his efforts to secure a slot in a secondary school proved futile.

    He recalled that his troubles began in 1997 when he was forced to drop out of primary to provide for his siblings after the passing on of his mother.

    Undated photo of Richard Njenga in school uniform
    Undated photo of Richard Njenga in school uniform
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    "My mother was a casual laborer so I used to take odd jobs to make ends meet but eventually I dropped out, then my mother, unfortunately, passed on and I became the breadwinner," he recalled.

    He called upon the government to intervene and help him secure a slot in high school.

    "There are so many Kenyans who did not complete their education due to various reasons. However, when they would like to continue, the government should have a way to help us," he pleaded.

    After his siblings completed their education, he saw it as a chance to further his education. The learner disclosed that one of his siblings just graduated from the university.

    He added that his firstborn child just cleared form four.

    On Monday, January 16, after the Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu announced learners can select high schools, Njenga was unable to access the site. 

    "When the CS made the announcement, I tried to apply through my phone but the system stated that my index number was unrecognised," he narrated.

    He noted that he was ready to adhere to the regulations as long as he got a chance to learn.

    "Despite being out of school for about 25 years, I am proud of the 233 marks I got. I am also not able to get any bursary allocation from the county government," he lamented after visiting the county offices in search of funding.

    Consequently, Njenga resolved to get some computer classes and a laptop to help him study online.

    File image of a child undertaking a quiz online
    File image of a child undertaking a quiz online
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