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Poverty and human error connive to frustrate a girl’s vision to become a doctor

Poverty and human error within the top education ministry seem to have connived to frustrate young Gloria Adhiambo Owino’s vision to become a doctor and lecturer in sciences.

With a score of 389 points during last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination, Gloria emerged as the best pupil at Nyalgunga Primary School in North Alego location, Siaya County, and had high hopes of joining a good school.

But, with barely a week to the Form One students reporting to begin their journey in secondary education, the young girl may not be among them, thanks to biting poverty within the family and an error by the Ministry that saw her placed at a national boys’ school in Nairobi.

When they downloaded the form one admission form, she had been selected to join Lenana School, one of the national schools based in Nairobi.

Though initially the family and the neighborhood at Nyalgunga market, where they stay in one small room were filled with joy, this was soon replaced by sorrow upon the realization that Lenana is a boys’ school.

Talking to journalists at Nyalgunga, the 14-year-old Gloria narrated how his father became alarmed while scrutinizing the admission form when he came across some of the requirements.

“He stumbled upon one of the requirements as Long trousers as part of the uniform and this is the time it dawned on us that this was a boys’ school” lamented Gloria.

She says that the shock that they had dimmed all her hopes and, with no one to help, they resigned to fate, hoping that the government would realize the mistake and place her in another school.

“As I am talking, this is the only admission letter I have received,” she says while displaying the admission letter from Lenana school.

The young girl says that she was surprised to have been admitted to Lenana as she did not select it.

 “We were told to select three national schools and I selected Alliance girls, Kisumu Girls, and Starehe girls,” she says adding that in extra county schools, she selected St. Francis Rang’ala girls, Sinaga girls, and Sega girls, all in Siaya county.

Gloria, who aspires to become a doctor and eventually a lecturer, is now appealing to both the government and well-wishers to help her realize her dreams.

“I am pleading with Kenyans to come to my aid to enable me to join a boarding school where I will concentrate on my studies and realize my dream,” she says adding that she was working hard to get good marks that would enable her get a chance to get a good school.

Gloria says that she wants to contribute positively to the Nyalgunga and Kenyan society at large and ensure that her family relocates from a small single room at the market.

Due to the error, the family laments that they could not successfully apply for any bursary support as the well-wisher could not understand why a girl could be admitted into a boy’s school.

Her mother, Margaret Awuor, a casual labourer who like her husband does odd jobs in the village says that they have resigned to fate.

Awuor says that her daughter had all through been seeking assurance that she will pursue secondary education once she excels in her KCPE.

“As a parent, I was always encouraging her that God will not forsake her,” she says adding that their only hope lies with well-wishers after they failed to get bursary support due to the error.

Awuor says that if all does not work out, then they will have to plead for admission to the nearby day secondary schools.

By Philip Onyango

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