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I'll be married off if I don't join Form 1, Mandera top girl appeals for fees

Rilwan Hassan scored 379 marks to emerge best performer in the county but now lacks school fees

In Summary
  • Rilwan Maalim Hassan, 15, who sat her exam at Al-Uweis Primary School in Elwak subcounty, scored 379 marks out of the possible 500.
  • However, hopes of proceeding with her secondary school is now hanging in the balance.
Rilwan Maalim Hassan, 15, who sat her exam at Al-Uweis Primary School in Elwak sub-county,
Rilwan Maalim Hassan, 15, who sat her exam at Al-Uweis Primary School in Elwak sub-county,
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

The joy of a family in Mandera whose daughter was the best girl in last year’s KCPE exam in the county has turned into agony due to lack of fees.

Rilwan Maalim Hassan, 15, who sat her exam at Al-Uweis Primary School in Elwak subcounty, scored 379 marks out of the possible 500. But the hope of her proceeding to secondary school is now hanging in the balance.

Speaking to the Star at their home on Sunday, the minor said her family's poor background could deny her the opportunity to pursue secondary education and become a doctor in future.

She was admitted to Moi Kapsowar Girls in Elgeyo Marakwet county.

“It’s painful to be born in a poor family. I made all efforts to pass my exam. But I am now facing the reality of dropping out of the school and, possibly getting married at tender age unless a well-wisher comes to my rescue,” she said.

Rilwan Maalim Hassan, 15, who sat her exam at Al-Uweis Primary School in Elwak subcounty,
Rilwan Maalim Hassan, 15, who sat her exam at Al-Uweis Primary School in Elwak subcounty,
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

She added,“When I see my colleagues some with lesser marks reporting, or preparing to join their respective secondary schools, I feel sad.”

“My mother is a housewife, while my father is a casual labourer and is only able to raise our family's basic needs. My parents know no office to turn to."

Maalim said she wants to become a doctor to serve her community in Elwak which has no single doctor. She appealed to any well-wisher, government agencies and the county government to help her realise her dream of joining secondary school.

Her mother Nuria Somow said her daughter has set a good example for many other girls in the county and in the region known for girls performing dismally, adding that if she misses sponsors to support her continue with her education it will be a big blow to girl child education in the county.

“When I took my girls to school many local mothers discourage me from doing so claiming it was unimportant to educate girls, particularly when my family is poor, I defied their advice, and my daughter has proven them wrong by performing well in her KCPE exam, but now she is disappointed because she can’t proceed with her education,” she added.

Somow said her firstborn son who has also done exceptionally well in his KCSE exam is also at home depressed because he couldn’t join university for lack of fees.

“My daughter has been crying quite a lot and refuses to eat for the last few days after she realised we couldn’t afford her school fees to join secondary.” 

 

 

 

-Edited by SKanyara

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