420 score dazzles girl, 14, in Garissa

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Former pupils of Mnara Junior Academy from left Hamdi Mohamed Muktar (416) Amal Abdiqani Maalim (420) and Umul Kaltum Mohamud celebrate their performance at their former school yesterday.Photo ~Stephen Astariko

Top performers in Garissa county in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exam have cited discipline, dedication and hard work as their secret of exceptional performance.

Speaking to journalists yesterday, Amal Maalim, who scored 420 marks out of 500, said she expected to perform well but scoring more than 400 and topping her class came as a surprise.

She was accompanied by her elated parents, teachers and former schoolmates at Mnara Junior Academy.

Maalim was carried shoulder-high as the group broke into song and dance.

“I got good results because of working smart and remaining disciplined. I have always expected to perform exceptionally well in the exam, but this is more than I expected. I am proud of my results and I really appreciate my teachers and parents for making sure I achieve my target,” said the 14-year-old.

Most public schools in northeastern have been without teachers since November last year when more than 2,000 non-local teachers left the region, citing insecurity.

This came after al Shabaab militants killed 28 people, most of them teachers, on a bus headed to Nairobi from Mandera.

Private schools were not affected by the teachers’ shortage.

Since the attack, some schools have been manned by administrators alone.