Society / Education
Wednesday, 20 Dec 2017 19:54 EATabdirahmancajab@gmail.com
The announcement of the second KCSE examinations under Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has come with a new shocker. The number of students scoring grade A plain increased just by one from 141 to 142. And only 70,000 students managed the minimum university entry grade of C+ and above.
Here in Wajir, Ahmed Liban Secondary School, a young public day school, took the lead in producing Noor Osman Adan who garnered a mean grade of A-, triggering a celebratory mood in the entire county. Founded in the year 2011, the mixed girls and boys school is probably the youngest public secondary school in Wajir County, and its achievement was relished by teachers, students and parents alike.
Noor himself was overcome by emotion, unable to his mood as he discussed his experience in the result. Speaking to the Kenya Free Press, the teenager said he owed his achievement to God, his parents and teachers who helped unleash his hard work that saw him pass the exams with flying colours.
Noor said his ambition is to become an engineer so he can help Wajir in the engineering field. His grades were as follows: English-B minus, Kiswahili-B minus, Maths-A, Biology-C+, Physics- A, Chemistry-A, Geography-A, Islamic Religious Education-A (minus).
The school principal, Mr Hashim Musa Yussuf, who was in Nairobi by the time the results were announced, told this writer in a phone interview that he was happy with the result, which he said was not a miracle but the logical outcome of the remarkable effort teachers and students invested during the preparation for the exams.
The principal confidently said he was expecting the good result. He said the top student, Noor, was very disciplined and kind to the teachers, cooperating throughout his studies. The student invested much effort during lesson hours and usually reached teachers for help even after classes.
Mr Hashim said the school’s enrolment currently stood at 386 boys and 170 girls, with a staff establishment of 15 teachers and other subordinate staff. He said the key to this achievement was the cooperative environment that teachers and students cultivated.
“We covered the syllabus in June and did revision work for the remainder of the time,” he said, while congratulating all his subject teachers, the school board and other stakeholders. He said the students had been doing well in national mathematics contests and were awarded in the 2017 contest.
Mr Hashim said there is a unique things about the first student and second student. Noor Osman who got the A- was admitted to the school with 279 marks while Ahmed Mohamed Issa, who scored B+, was admitted with 310. “Despite admitting low marks, with focus and dedication, you can make it,” Hashim said.
Mr Hashim said that, despite the good result, the school had major challenges, such as lack of classrooms and shortage of teachers. He has appealed to the TSC to give him more teachers, and asked political leaders help him with modern laboratory and classes.
Mr Hashim, who specialises in Chemistry and Maths, said these were the two subjects that most of the students found difficulty in yet they are the ones that could unlock the doors for them to join the field of Medicine. He said, "Nothing is hard or impossible, it is only dedication we need."
Hashim said when it comes low performance issues, he blamed parents but not teachers. He said teachers tried their best but some parents, not being aware about their own roles in their children's performance, complain whenever they found low performance to students.
The principal regretted that a key distractor to education is cell phones, particularly smartphones, which he urged parents to stop buying for their kids. "It is painful when a parent can buy for student 10,000 with mobile phone and the child does not have vital revision books which cost only Sh1,000.
Finally, he urged all the school's stakeholders to work together as a county, led by the governor and all other leaders to boost education as a county. The governor, Mohamed Abdi Mohamud, senator Abdullahi Kabreta, Tarbaj Ward MCA Issa Garore and Elben MCA Shekey Ahmed all congratulated the school for its performance.
Abdirahman Rashid Farah is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Wajir County