Candidates skip Biology practical over lack of specimen

KAPEDO, TURKANA EAST SUB-COUNTY

Kapedo Mixed Secondary School candidates skipped some biological practical questions due to lack of specimens following insecurity in the region.
As candidates prepared to sit for their biology practical exam, the school principal, Daniel Namunwa was out of the school in search for specimens.

On the eve of the practical exam day, he was from Chemolingot travelling in a G.S.U Toyota Land Cruiser, along with 7 soldiers and the biology teacher.
However, they were unable to continue with the journey. At Chesitet, they were repulsed by 200 bandits who forced them to retreat. After concluding they would not make it to the school in time,
Namunwa explained the situation to the District Education Officer, the County Education Director and K.N.E.C officials as they sought guidance on the way forward.
The Kenya National Examination Council advised them to go on with the exam and told the candidates to tackle any 2 questions apart from the ones which required the specimens. The specimens were Lantana camara tree and fresh Tristania SPP tree and also microscopes, slides and covers, which were obtained to be used in the practical exams but unfortunately due to the prevailing insecurity in the region the principal was not able to deliver the specimens on time.
Informal closure of school
Apart from biology practical exam, there were problems after teachers abandoned the candidates and fled the school. The students from the lower classes also escaped fearing for dear life, and were unable to sit the end of year exams. The form threes’ entrants also missed the entry exams to form four after they were held hostage at Chemolingot.
The principal had to write to the parents, guardians and sponsors of the students to consider the previous term results report as they wait to do end of year and form four entry exams early next year when schools reopen for the 1st term. The school unofficially closed.
Blow to education Kapedo is a dangerous area and even as security operations continue the residents especially the students and teachers are not sure whether the situation will return to normal. Each morning, they wake up and pick up cartridges of stray bullets in the school compound.

The situation in Kapedo will lower the quality of education in the region and will also be a challenge to the examination council when it comes to marking of the exams done by candidates coming from such areas prone to frequent raids, who are ranked together with others in developed urban schools.

With the unstable state of security, one challenge likely to come up is understaffing of teachers. Already, understaffing is a major challenge to most schools in Turkana county and if more schools are yet to face the same monster, which is killing the education sector, then it is evident that in years to come, schools will only be decorative structures with no teaching.






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