An asthmatic student from Homa Bay County has exhibited exemplary performance in the just released Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) despite his medical condition.
Roberto Carlos, student from Mbita High School, excelled his KCSE with grade A (Plain) of 84 points and was among the 1, 146 students who topped nationally in last year’s examination.
Speaking to KNA, Carlos revealed that he has been battling asthma since his childhood, a condition that got worse when he reached form two where he would experience frequent attacks.
“I could never stay in school for a whole week without asthma putting me down. I was always on and off school to the point that I felt like giving up on my studies,” Carlos testified.
The KCSE champion added that he spent the whole of term two of form four out of school due to his worsening condition while others were progressing with the syllabus.
The candidate said that despite all these, he never lost hope and appreciated the efforts by Embakasi East Member of Parliament, Babu Owino who offered online lessons on his social media platforms.
“When we were approaching the final exams, I spent a month away from school where I studied online and only went back 13 days prior to the national exams,” explained Carlos.
At some point, due to self-doubt, Carlos wanted to miss his exams but gave up on the idea owing to his dad’s and teacher’s insistence and encouragements that he should give it a try.
“Even though I tried to convince my dad to let me get exempted from sitting the exams last year, he insisted and involved the teachers who advised me to just give it a try,” Carlos narrated.
Carlos had also faced the same situation back when he was about to sit for his Kenya Certificate of Primary School where he scored 398 marks as opposed to his target of 400 marks.
He revealed that he had doubts during the examination period since others had studied way more than him while he was away, and questioned himself on whether he would perform well.
“As I prepared for the exams, I knew I was going to fail, but later after the papers I knew that I would get good results, but I never imagined that I would be among the toppers nationally,” he affirmed.
Carlos dreams of studying Medicine at Oxford University in honour of his late mother who passed on while he was a child and also his asthma condition.
George Otieno, Carlos’ father on his side said his son’s health condition had been a bother to him and that he was so proud of his son since he managed to give his best to be among the top in the nation.
“I knew he had the potential to do well but I could not imagine him leading nationwide due to his condition. I thank God for this,” he noted.
One of his teachers, Tobias Juma, said that Carlos was a very bright boy and would lead other students during internal exams amid his health condition,” said Juma.
Juma stated that despite his condition, Carlos was made the school’s president owing to his leadership skills.
By Brian Odhiambo and Sitna Omar