Dadaab refugee candidates risk missing national exams

Dadaab refugee candidates risk missing national exams

With Kenya’s decision to shut down the Dadaab Refugee Camp by November this year still standing, Standard 8 and Form Four candidates inside the camp are worried that they will miss the critical national exams.  About 5,000 children are registered as candidates according to the United Nation’s High Commission for Refugees.

The students who are set to sit for their national examinations later in the year have appealed to the government to allow them sit for the KCPE and KCSE exams.

According to United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) records, a total of 4,575 students are expected to sit for their exams in the refugee camps this year with 3,429 expected to sit for KCPE while 1,146 set to sit for KCSE.

Aden Hussein, a candidate at Golden Elite primary school who came to the camp six years ago with his parents laments that the repatriation exercise is likely to inconvenience them and shatter their dreams as it will coincide with their national examinations.

“I was in class 2 when I came here and I immediately joined Golden Elite Primary School,” said Aden.

“When I came here I didn’t even know how to write my name Aden, now I am in standard 8 and I am a candidate this year.”

He says he got frustrated upon hearing that the government was repatriating them.

“I am anxiously looking forward to sitting for my final exams but I am afraid the repatriation exercise will jeopardize my dreams,” he added.

Another KCSE candidate at Nasib Secondary School in Ifo 2 Camp, Abdi Omar finds it difficult to accept that his education and that of his other 11 classmates could be in jeopardy.

A senior teacher at Golden Elite Primary School, Brian Nyongesa says that the learners have had a good transition system during their period in the camps and would wish to see the same transition when they go back to their motherland country.

The refugees have their own schools and teachers inside the camps and go through the Kenyan education system, and subsequently sit for KCPE and KCSE final exam.

The Kenyan teachers who teach in the refugee schools are contracted by agencies such as Windle Trust, CARE international, and Islamic Relief.

Report by Amos Sambu, additional reporting by Elizabeth Asasha

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