Not once, not twice have media reports highlighted the plight of children who despite their desire to join primary or secondary school, are not able to do so because of their humble economic backgrounds, the children in their deep night sleep only pray to access what their counterparts from well off families have never worried about, the right to a decent education.
In the past one year, the plight of two children have caught the attention of the country, one girl, Grace Awino from Western Kenya clad in her primary school uniform and in a pair of worn out flip flops in January 2018 trekked five kilometers from Nasire Village to her dreams in Butere Secondary School in Kakamega County bearing nothing but her admission letter clinging on the faith that a good samaritan would come to her rescue.
She had scored 392 marks in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), on arrival she was exhausted and hungry. She asked the gatekeeper to let her see the principal Jennifer Omondi who was so moved by her positive defiance that she admitted the student without paying the mandatory Ksh53, 554 school fees.
More recently, another student, Rael Onyango was on January 15 this year turned away on arrival at Kolanya Secondary School in Busia County for reporting to school with only a bar of soap and a bra.
The two are not the only cases. They are just the face of the many children from humble backgrounds in a race against destiny.
A number of questions arise from these cases. The most important being whether the national and county governments are allocating bursary funds to educate the most needy students.
The second most pressing question is in the event the poor students secure admission in any school, whether they will be treated equally by the administration in light of the fact that the school heads will know that they will be unable to raise school fees.
However some of them get lucky, on January 11 this year former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo sponsored a needy student to Mang’u High School who had approached him at Kameme FM where he was due for an interview.
At Mangu high to register the young Man who approached me through Kameme Radio. God willing I’ll see him through to Uni. pic.twitter.com/JaQf7HcbTH
— Hon. William Kabogo (@honkabogo) January 11, 2019
With the talks that our economy is growing and that devolution is working, the country needs to come up with a better way of ensuring that every student despite their economic background is guaranteed of going through all levels of education.