An orphaned boy who scored 374 marks in the 2021 KCPE is yet to join Form One for lack of school fees and is now calling on well-wishers to come to his aid.
Erick Onyango Juma, a former pupil at Lessos Primary school in Trans Nzoia County, has missed his admission slot at St. Anthony High School, Kitale.
Besides, annual fee of Sh35, 000, the distraught learner requires close to Sh25, 000 for prescribed personal effects to enable him to get admission to his school of choice.
As per the school’s fees structure seen by Kenya News Agency (KNA), school uniforms, mattress and blanket that are among other personal items would cost at least Sh23, 240.
Speaking to the press at their home, the 16-year-old boy recounted his life of destitution having lived with his grandmother since the death of his father in 2010. He was four years old.
The grandmother passed on a few years later leaving him in the hands of a Samaritan, Ms Nancy Achieng, who has been acting as his guardian.
“My guardian cannot be able to raise the required school fees, including other academic requirements like books and personal effects,” said Onyango.
In order to compliment the support he received from his guardian while learning at Lessos Primary School, Onyango would do menial jobs such as fetching water from a nearby river and selling the same to residents of Folkland area, which is a slum, in Matisi ward.
The hardworking boy beat all the odds, including living under a leaking roof of their mud-walled house, roofed well-worn rusty iron sheets and obtained the above average marks in KCPE.
Folkland is a densely populated slum area prone to anti-social acts, including drug peddling, brewing and sale of illicit liquor, robbery and a hideout for perpetrators of all forms of crime. The place is ever on security agents’ radar.
Onyango is not aware of the whereabouts of his elder two siblings whom he accuses of deserting him while he was still at a tender age. He claims to have never known his mother, an allegation given credence by Achieng.
“I am unhappy to stay at home while my friends are in school and would not wish to have my dreams shattered hence I am appealing to those who can come to my aid to support my education,” cried out Onyango who aspires to be an Engineer in future.
Achieng, a vegetable vendor, is appealing to national and county governments to assist a bright boy whom she says was getting depressed each passing day with no hope of enrolling in school.
She described him as a disciplined and industrious boy who loves to study.
“Onyango is a bright boy who is a future asset to this society. Thus, it is my humble appeal to anyone who can support his education,” appealed Achieng’.
Her sentiments were echoed by Mr Collins Gumba, a neighbour.
“My efforts to reach out to his elder brother have hit a dead end,” disclosed Gumba, adding the said brother has never responded to phone texts sent to him, besides refusing to pick voice calls.
According to Gumba, further efforts to get a bursary at Saboti Constituency Development Fund kitty have proved futile.
Onyango was the second best 2021 KCPE candidate in his school.
Less than a kilometre in the neighbourhood of the same slum is Emachar Bravine Mukana who like Onyango is yet to join secondary school despite scoring 369 marks in his 2021 KCPE examinations.
The former pupil at Chetoto Primary School in the same county is also grappling with school fees issues even as his former colleagues are in their third week of secondary school learning.
Mukana got an admission letter from Goseta Boys Secondary School.
He had high hopes of being one of the Elimu Scholarship Programme beneficiaries but news of his name missing out of the 128 beneficiaries from the county sent him into depression.
The 14-year-old would wish to become a doctor in future and is prayerful hoping to get a well-wisher that would actualize the dream.
By Maurice Aluda