Tuesday, 3 February 2015


For those who have been following news, there has been a controversy surrounding the Form One selection especially those joining the Kenya’s Ivy League of national schools. At the epicenter of the controversy is the skewed selection of students in favour of students from public primary schools and at the disadvantage of those from private primary schools. Pupils who scored ‘highly’ in the ranges of 400 points majority from private schools have found themselves admitted to district schools which they find to be dubious and thus a grave injustice for they deserved much better or so they think. Maybe.

This got me reminiscing about my K.C.P.E exams and the events that followed thereafter leading to my admission at Kisumu Day High School. I sat for my K.C.P.E exams in the year 2003. The candidates of K.C.P.E 2003 were a unique group in many ways. If you remember this is the year that a performance record was set in K.C.P.E examinations and has never been broken to date with the highest pupil scoring 482 just 18 marks away from having a 100% performance. While this was good news, it spelled doom for those of us who scored mediocre marks. With virtually everyone posting an exemplary performance, competition for the ‘ivy league high schools’ was beyond tough and those with mediocre marks like me stood no chance of getting admission. I accepted though with much disappointment wondering what I didn't do right during the exam because it was perfect so to speak.

So in January 2004 I got my calling letter to Kisumu Day High School. If my memory serves me right this school was one of the placeholders that I filled in the ‘District School category’ because I thought that there was no way I could find myself there. Little I did I know that I will be admitted there. Maybe I was little bit cocky. But I insist that I was just being ambitious like any other young chap, of course Mangu High School had to be my number one choice and rightly so because it ended up being the leading school in K.C.S.E in 2007-the year I did K.C.S.E. The dream was valid and was going to pay off anyway. On the other hand, I didn't know much about Kisumu Day because I never used to see them in TV celebrating about excellent results in K.C.S.E. My folks were not pleased either but instead of bothering them to look for another school, I humbled myself and accepted my admission to ‘KD’ as we used to call it.
I was the smallest and I was referred to as last born. Almost half in our class of 46 little boys were in in denial and were busy looking for transfers. Some got while others had to accept and move on. However, towards the end of February when the K.C.S.E results 2003 were released only 13 students qualified to go to university under the government sponsorship programme. This meant that one had to be at least in the top 15 to be begin dreaming about joining the university as GSSP and the time I was several positions behind the top 20. At the same time my folks had said they are not ready to pay for PSSP so I had to find my way to this list of 13 students who expressly went to university. The future was gloomy but I stayed put hoping for the best.

As time went by I developed passion for the school and by Form Two I was deeply acculturated into the system that I wouldn't leave. The little voice in my head told me that if I could make it in Mangu I can still make it in KD focus and hard work was all I needed. And true to the little voice in my head I made it! At university I met all those from Ivy League school. It didn't matter that I went to little known school at least in the realm of exam performance we were not that famous as compared to sports.
Looking back I don’t regret any bit; it was the best stage in my education life. As a matter of fact, I met incredible people who have contributed immensely to my being to this very day. At KD, we not only got knowledge but we were equipped with life skills as well that’s why any graduate from Kisumu Day tend to survive in any environment. So it doesn't really matter where you get your secondary school admission, it’s all in your brain.
Aye! Can I hear somebody say Swift and Sure?