• Michelle Kinya, also 15, tells a similar story of perseverance. She would wake up early to go to school, risking attacks by wild animals.

• They beat the odds to score high marks in the 2021 KCPE exam at Segera Mission Primary School.

BEST MINDS: Michelle Kinya and her cousin Mary Leshaa who scored 391 and 369 marks, respectively with their grandmother Sekei (left) who provides for the family by making and selling beadwork.
BEST MINDS: Michelle Kinya and her cousin Mary Leshaa who scored 391 and 369 marks, respectively with their grandmother Sekei (left) who provides for the family by making and selling beadwork.
Image: AGATHA NGOTHO

Three-star pupils in Laikipia North are staring at a bleak future without fees to enter secondary school.

They braved the morning cold, the afternoon furnace, trekked many kilometres and risked wildlife attacks on their way to and from school.

But nothing could kill the dreams of three pupils from Segera ward in Laikipia North near Ol Pejeta conservancy.

They beat the odds to score high marks in the 2021 KCPE exam at Segera Mission Primary School.

Fifteen-year-old Rapasi Lemaramba walked 20km daily, running and hiding from jumbos at times.

Lemaramba scored 403 marks and was the top student in his school.

He dreams of joining Mang’u High School and becoming a doctor, not a moran.

Lemaramba had to wake up by 3am to get enough time to trek to school and be in class by 5am for morning preps.

“I would start my journey to school at 4am. I would walk for an hour to get there for morning preps between 5am and 6am," he told the Star.

The firstborn in a family of 13 children says he is determined to work hard in class and become a doctor.

But his hard work could go to waste because his parents have no money to enrol him in high school. He could be stuck herding goats.

Michelle Kinya, also 15, tells a similar story of perseverance. She would wake up early to go to school, risking attacks by wild animals.

She scored 391 marks and hopes to join Pangani Girls Secondary School. She dreams of becoming the Chief Justice in the country.

“Sometimes my mother had to escort me to school because it was not safe to walk alone," she said.

Some years back, a girl was raped on her way to school in the morning and she got pregnant and had to drop out.

“The fear of bad men and wild animals is why my mum would walk with me to a place where she felt it was safe and I could walk alone," she said.

Her 16-year-old cousin Mary Leshaa would trek for 10 kilometres to and from school and despite all the challenges, she scored 369 marks, though her target was above 400. 

Education CS George Magoha said on Wednesday 9,000 learners who sat the 2021 KCPE exam will benefit from government scholarships for their secondary education.

He said the Elimu Scholarship Programme, which is sponsored by the Kenya government, Equity Bank and World Bank, will benefit bright but disadvantaged learners across the country.

“The scholarship caters to school fees, transport, learning materials for the four-year secondary education," Magoha said while commissioning a classroom at Kenya High School in Nairobi.

Some 4,000 of those children will come from urban slums and others from every sub-county.

That still leaves a lot of deserving children who can't get into secondary school.

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