Teacher’s Service Commision CEO Nancy Macharia witnessed the challenges faced in delivering the KCSE exams while overseeing the exercise in Kilifi County.
The TSC Boss was forced to remove her shoes as it is the norm while delivering the papers to Marafiki Secondary School in Kadaina Island in Kilifi county, accompanied by the teachers and some education officials from the Coast region.
From the mainland across the muddy waters surrounded be the many mangrove trees, it takes about half an hour to reach the school while using a boat and only when the water levels and waves are fair.
The exams which were to commence at 8 AM rather commenced at about 10 AM after the exams’ container was opened at 7 AM at the County Commisioner’s office located in Kilifi Town.
Speaking after delivering the papers in the school, Macharia stated that it has been quite a challenging experience having had to travel by car for about 30 min and later on by boat for 35 min.
“We had to remove our shoes and wade through the water before we could start our trip to the school ,the teachers here are an exemplary and I appreciate their determination in putting up with all the struggles”, she said.
She further elaborated how he almost chased away a teacher who was dressed in a pair of shorts while collecting the papers at the DCC’ Office last year because she thought he was a stranger, not knowing what struggles the teacher was dealing with.
“Last year I failed to recognize a teacher as he wore a short and thought that he was a mere stranger”, She added.
On her way back, she used the route that both the teachers and students use, Kwa Kea, a route one has to walk for about 50 minutes through the muddy waters between the mangrove forest, and that is after using the boat from the school.
Marafiki Secondary school with a total population of 203 students has 50 candidates sitting for their national examination with 23 of them being male and 27 ladies, all enduring hardship.
Thomas Kingoa , a teacher at Marafiki Secondary school stated that they are experiencing a number of challenges as a school located in an island ,one of them being transport problem considering they have to travel by boat.
Sometime the level of water hinders their journey since they have to wait for the tides to reduce.
“The boats we use carry a specific number of people thus the exams tend to start late as compared to the scheduled time”, He said.
He further added that the 7.00 am preps are interfered with and those of the evening preps as students tend to come late to school and are to leave early.
He said that the school is facing shortage of teachers since many teachers do not want to work in areas with such hardship and also the fact that there are no allowances for such problems contributes a lot to teachers opting not to work in those areas.
“We have around 8 teachers with a shortage of about 11 teachers in our school and teachers do not avail themselves for interviews to work in these areas thus the number remains low”, He said.