Repa­tri­a­tion makes 289 kids skip ex­ams

‘I will leave the camp a happy child be­cause I can speak English and Kiswahili’

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Northeastern - RHODA OD­HI­AMBO @Od­hi­amboRhoda

Two hun­dred and eighty-nine refugee can­di­dates did not sit their KCSE and KCPE ex­ams this year.

One hun­dred and sixty-nine of them were KCSE can­di­dates who missed the exam be­cause of the on­go­ing vol­un­tar­ily repa­tri­a­tion.

“Those sit­ting the ex­ams are just do­ing so for the sake of it. They do not have any morale be­cause they know once they fin­ish the exam, they are go­ing home since the camp will be closed in six months,” Dadaab chief ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer Ali Buthul told the Star.

Most KCSE can­di­dates live in the Ha­gadera camp ( 74 ). Sixty-one can­di­dates from the Da­ga­ha­ley camp did not sit the exam. Thirty-four el­derly peo­ple did not sit the exam.

“As ed­u­ca­tion­ists, we are wor­ried about the fate of these chil­dren when they go back to So­ma­lia. So­ma­lia does not have a uni­fied cur­ricu­lum un­like Kenya. When they go back, they are go­ing to be taught in sev­eral lan­guages which will dis­rupt learn­ing,” Buthul said.

Some stu­dents who sat this year’s exam said that it was easy.

“When I came to the camp in 2011, I could only speak So­mali. Now I can speak English and Kiswahili. I have also learnt a lot of things in this school that I would not have been able to learn back home in So­ma­lia,” Samiro Mo­hammed Duale said.

Naji Omar, who sat her KCPE exam this year, said, “When the time comes for me to leave the camp, I will go as a happy child be­cause I fi­nally have one doc­u­ment in my name. To Kenyan chil­dren, this doc­u­ment is a gate pass to sec­ondary school, but, for me, this might be the only thing I have in my name.

“If I go back home, I know I will not go back to school be­cause the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem is not free.”

/JACK OWUOR

Refugees sit this year’s KCSE ex­am­i­na­tion at Ifo Sec­ondary School in the Dadaab Refugee camp yes­ter­day

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