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Refugee boy tops Northeastern with A- in KCSE

Says he wants to become a doctor to assist people back home in Somalia

In Summary
  • “Mine has been a tough journey coupled with a myriad of challenges. However, it doesn’t matter how you start the race but how you finish,” Dahir said.
  • “My family was against my coming to Kenya. However, I was determined for two reasons, to escape the war and to get an education,” he said.

He came saw and conquered, that is the best way to describe the performance of Mohamed Hire Dahir, a refugee who emerged as the best KCSE student in the NorthEastern region.

Mohamud Hire Dahir, a refugee who emerged the best student in Northeastern is lifted shoulder high by friends and relatives in Garissa town on Monday, April 25.
AGAINST ODDS : Mohamud Hire Dahir, a refugee who emerged the best student in Northeastern is lifted shoulder high by friends and relatives in Garissa town on Monday, April 25.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Mohamud Hire Dahir, a refugee at Hagadera camp, emerged the best student in Northeastern after scoring an A- in KCSE exam.

Dahir, who was supported by UNHCR and the Fafi CDF kitty, said studying for extra hours and consulting his teachers helped him a lot.

His school, Alinjugur Secondary School in Fafi subcounty might not be well known but it produced two of the best students in the region with a mean grade of an A- of 79 and 76 points respectively.

The 22- year-old who spoke on Monday in Garissa town escaped the civil war in Somalia after losing his father in 2019.

“Mine has been a tough journey coupled with a myriad of challenges. However, it doesn’t matter how you start the race but how you finish. I was determined to suffer to achieve what I wanted,” Dahir said.

Mohamud Hire Dahir a refugee who emerged the best student in Northeastern speaking to the press in Garissa town on Monday, April 25.
WANTS TO BE A DOCTOR: Mohamud Hire Dahir a refugee who emerged the best student in Northeastern speaking to the press in Garissa town on Monday, April 25.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

He wants to pursue medicine and become a doctor.

"I want to assist my people back home who have challenges accessing proper healthcare, that has been ruined by the civil war,” Dahir said.

He lost his sister through malaria, a disease he says is treatable but one that continues to claim lives in Somalia.

Dahir says the deaths are due to lack of enough personnel.

The last born in a family of six seeks to become the breadwinner as the mother and the rest of his siblings are still in Somalia.

“My family was against my coming to Kenya. However, I was determined for two reasons, to escape the war and to get an education,” he said.

The Hagadera camp has been Dahir's home for the last 12 years.

Alinjugur Secondary School senior principal Noor Gani speaking to the press in Garissa on Monday, April ,25.
FLED SOMALIA WAR: Alinjugur Secondary School senior principal Noor Gani speaking to the press in Garissa on Monday, April ,25.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

In his first KCSE exam attempt, he scored a B plain of 66 points. 

Dahir missed the chance of a scholarship from the World University Service of Canada by a point, forcing him to repeat Form 4.

“With a good grade now in place, I can only hope and pray that the scholarship comes my way,” he said.

Dahir said the school faced staffing challenges in 2019 when some teachers were killed in Nanigi, which led to mass exodus.

“For a long time, we had to study on our own. Then Covid-19 came and it was extremely tough,” he said.

Hmadi Ahmed who scored a B + speaking to the press in Garissa on Monday, April 25.
TEACHER SHORTAGE: Hmadi Ahmed who scored a B + speaking to the press in Garissa on Monday, April 25.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

The school's senior principal Noor Gani said the results were not surprising to the school's administration.

He said they knew the class will perform well and produce some of the best students.

“Despite many challenges among them staffing and having to run the school with unqualified teachers after 15 of them left in 2019 due to insecurity, we still soldiered on," Gani said.

He said out of the 79 candidates who sat the exam, 56 managed to get direct admission to the university, "this is no mean feat.”

The principal thanked the Ministry of Education, the UNHCR, Window Trust and the CDF office, which ensured no student was sent home for fees.

He said they improved their mean score from last years 5.5 to 7.2 and they aim to improve further.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

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