19 Female KCSE Candidates From Nyanza Doing Exams from Hospital after giving Birth.

Somewhere in Nyanza, reportedly, 19 girls of the 30 female KCSE candidates have babies. There were cases of KCPE candidates doing their examinations from the hospital having given birth. And this has been a trend for a long time. One wonders if they are doing the exams just for the sake of it or they hope to get something from it.

Sitting for KCSE or KCPE is quickly becoming a ritual. There seems to be this unwritten rule that all who registered for the exams must sit for them notwithstanding their current situation or state of mind at that point in time. Come rain or shine, a candidate must write something on the answer sheet even if it is his or her name. Grade E, they say, is better than Grade F.

It is dispiriting to see a girl who has just been delivered of a baby writing her examinations from the hospital or teenage mothers with their one- month old babies, and their nannies in tow, entering examination centres to write the examinations. Are these girls even in their right frame of mind to write the exams? Do they even have time to revise for their papers? With the stigma of pregnancies, breastfeeding duties, it takes a strong-willed girl to revise, do her exams and pass them.

If this is not meant to punish them, if this is meant to stop the examination fees paid from going to waste, then we have succeeded in making sitting for these examinations a ritual.

I just do not know why such candidates cannot be allowed to defer sitting for their examinations by one year. Since examinations are meant to be passed, encouraging students to sit for them under these circumstances cannot be fair. It is only helping in robbing them of their future.

Credit: Real Collins Odhimbo

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