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Brilliant Girl Crashing Stones After Failing to Join Secondary School

A sixteen-year-old girl who scored 405 marks in Magarini Sub County of Kilifi County has turned to stone-crashing to raise her fees and assist her family put food on the table.

Sera Kauchi Naftali has however lost hope of ever joining her dream school, Moi Girls High School, Isinya, where she was offered a form one slot but is yet to report to report due to lack of school fees.

The former pupil at Bandacho Primary School in Adu ward of Magarini constituency that produced 17 candidates with 400 marks and above is afraid that her place at the school situated in Kajiado County will be taken by another student since the deadline for form ones to report is today Tuesday February 14, 2023. She requires Sh75, 789 to report.

She is among four candidates from the school with more than 400 marks who have not been able to secure their places in the schools they have admission letters from.

Despite applying for scholarships from organizations such as Equity Bank’s Wings to Fly and the Elimu Scholarship Programmes and a promise from the County Government of Kilifi, the bright girl did not get any assistance and spends her time weeping as she handles household chores.

The last born in a family of seven has resigned to the menial job of crashing stones to make ballast for sale alongside her mother, Mariam Rodgers, but what they get is hardly enough to even put food on their table.

Journalists found the girl at a quarry about one kilometre from her former school situated in Adu ward, Magarini division, crashing stones together with her mother. Though she put a brave face and forced a smile, her worries were evident.

Sera and her mother appealed to well-wishers to come to their aid and enable the girl to go to school since Sera’s father is also unemployed.

Bandacho Primary School Head Teacher Constance Kanze Mwaria said out of the 17 candidates who scored above 400 marks in her school, four (including Sera) were yet to join secondary school due to poverty in their families.

Sera Kauchi Naftali and her mother Maria Rodgers at a quarry in Marereni Sub Location, Magarini Sub County Monday. Photos by Emmanuel Masha

She said many other candidates who scored above 350 marks were still at home as their parents had not been able to take them to their respective schools because of lack of school fees.

Sera’s former classmates, Mary Kulola Gilbert and Esther Wanyinya, who scored 363 and 369 marks respectively, also wanted to be medical doctors and surgeons, but they have failed to join Mwasere Girls Secondary School in Taita Taveta County as their parents are not able to afford the fees.

The twin sisters who hail from Kanagoni area within Adu Ward, are appealing to well-wishers to assist them report to school.

Those willing to help the desperate students may contact Ms Constance Kanze Mwaria, the Bandacho Primary School Head teacher through her mobile number 0723865789.

Mr. Johnson Nzai, a personal assistant to Magarini Member of Parliament Harrison Garama Kombe, said the MP was aware of the cases and that all those who got more than 400 marks would have their fees paid through the National Government Constituency Development Fund.

Meanwhile, the lack of school fees is threatening the escalation of the menace of early marriages and teenage pregnancies that is already rampant in Kilifi County.

Human Rights activist Justin Kitonyo says that hundreds of students in Kilifi County have not been able to join form one due to lack of money for fees, noting that this could open up avenues for child abuse and teenage pregnancies in the area.
He urges the government, local leaders, corporates and non-Governmental organizations to scout for such students and ensure they join school.

By Emmanuel Masha

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