Thursday, November 13, 2008


Students in North Eastern Province were the most affected by short rains that coincided with the national examinations that started last week. The Wajir-Garissa road became impassable for several days and scores of candidates in this year’s KCPE were either cut off from their examination centres by flash floods or have been swept away and killed before sitting the examination. Roads and bridges nearly collapsed due to floods as many families moved to higher grounds. 

Residents in flood prone areas have appealed to the Government to review the national examinations calendar and streamline the methods they use for people affected during examination periods. The short rains in the months of October and November normally coincide with KCPE and KCSE examinations.

"Hundreds of people including pupils and mothers are stuck along the Wajir-Garissa road for nearly a week now due to impassable roads," Mrs Oray Adan, the chairperson, Maendelo ya Wanawake, Wajir Branch said.

In remote villages, students and pupils are forced to cross at least a stream or a river, which at this time of the year are usually flooded.

Teachers also say it is common for examination papers to arrive late in far flung schools, forcing candidates to sit up to late at night.

But the North Eastern Provincial Education office says the Government provides four-wheel drive vehicles and even helicopters in some instances to distribute examination papers. At an education day in Wajir on Wednesday, leaders, teachers, parents and students called on Education PS Karega Mutahi to consider their appeal.

"We hope one day the Government will review the calendar, since some aspirations are being shuttered by the vagaries of weather," said Ahmed Hassan, a Knut official.