Political, religious leaders and other stakeholders in Ganze constituency are confused about the poor performance of students from the sub-county in national examinations.
A mediocre showing by students who sat the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams has seen Kilifi county bursary funds being shifted to other sub-counties due to the few students qualifying.
Ganze leaders led by the area MP Teddy Mwambire have urged students interested in receiving higher education scholarships to work extra hard so as to attain better grades that shall see them join universities or vocational training institutions.
Speaking at Ganze Boys Secondary School during a leaders’ forum to chart the way forward, Mwambire said his office has received 100 full scholarship slots for higher education but the number of students qualifying is not impressive. “Since I took over as a legislator a year ago, my office has struggled to search for students who can benefit from the scholarship programme. To my surprise, only 38 students managed to hit the grades required,” he said.
Mwambire said the programme, which was started last year, forced his office to search for previous candidates as far back as 2002 in his constituency to at least hit the target. “Still, only a total of 38 candidates qualified,” he said.
The MP regretted the poor performance of schools in Ganze, where many youths often loiter around seeking menial jobs. “We are collecting data on last years’ exam results from schools in the constituency as a base to improve education levels in this area,” he said.
Among those who benefited last year was a student who had finished his KCSE exams in 1996 and scored a B+ but was forced to stay at home for lack of school fees. Unfortunately, the student, currently undertaking a Primary One Teaching course at Shanzu Teachers College in Mombasa county, will be qualifying from college at a mature age, said the MP.
Members of the County Assembly noted with concern over the rising number of teenage pregnancies in the area. They decreed that a report issued by the Children’s Department that more than 13,200 underage girls were pregnant last year was alarming and called on parents to be monitoring the movement of their daughters.