Repatriation makes 289 kids skip exams


Friday, November 25, 2016

Mohammed Bille (L) from Somalia and other refugee sit for the 2016 KCSE National examination at IfO Secondary School at the Dadaab Refugee camp on November 24, 2016. Photo/Jack Owuor

Two hundred and eighty-nine refugee candidates did not sit their KCSE and KCPE exams this year.

One hundred and sixty-nine of them were KCSE candidates who missed the exam because of the ongoing voluntarily repatriation.

“Those sitting the exams are just doing so for the sake of it. They do not have any morale because they know once they finish the exam, they are going home since the camp will be closed in six months,” Dadaab chief education officer Ali Buthul told the Star.

Most KCSE candidates live in the Hagadera camp ( 74 ). Sixty-one candidates from the Dagahaley camp did not sit the exam. Thirty-four elderly people did not sit the exam.

“As educationists, we are worried about the fate of these children when they go back to Somalia. Somalia does not have a unified curriculum unlike Kenya. When they go back, they are going to be taught in several languages which will disrupt learning,” Buthul said.

Some students who sat this year’s exam said that it was easy.

“When I came to the camp in 2011, I could only speak Somali. Now I can speak English and Kiswahili. I have also learnt a lot of things in this school that I would not have been able to learn back home in Somalia,” Samiro Mohammed Duale said.

Naji Omar, who sat her KCPE exam this year, said, “When the time comes for me to leave the camp, I will go as a happy child because I finally have one document in my name. To Kenyan children, this document is a gate pass to secondary school, but, for me, this might be the only thing I have in my name.

“If I go back home, I know I will not go back to school because the education system is not free.”

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