KCSE candidate suspended for speaking Dholuo

A school in Homa Bay County has suspended two Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates some weeks to national examinations, on accusation of speaking vernacular and incitement.

A female candidate at Lala Secondary School was accused of speaking in mother tongue while in school while another male student is accused of inciting his classmates by reading aloud a leave out sheet of the first student.

Both students have been home for two weeks with their parents expressing fears that they may fail to get good grades to proceed to university.

The female student was suspended on September 28 after she allegedly uttered words in Dholuo, when an official from the Ministry of Education was at the school.

According to Principal Kennedy Nyamolo, the student violated school policy that demands students speak official languages of Kenya.

“We have a language policy but the students violated it when she spoke in Dholuo in front of a visitor,” he said.

She is said to have declined to come out and admit that she violated school rules.

Teachers who heard her speak asked her fellow students to identify whoever had broken school rules, but no one was willing to reveal her identity.

According to the principal, it was difficult to tell who spoke in the local language because the students were in a group.

School management then decided to use a formula of identifying whoever had violated the rules. Mr Nyamolo said they decided to isolate students based on gender before they could identify the culprit.

“Since the voice was of a female student, we had to separate the two genders to narrow down on who had violated the rules,” he said.

“No student could still identify her and report her to the teachers because she was being protected by her classmates. It took some time before some students decided to reveal that she was the one who spoke in Dholuo.”

The student was asked to go home after she was identified as the one who broke the school rules. She said she was instructed to report back during rehearsals for KCSE.

The mother said she is concerned that her daughter may fail to get a grade that will enable her to proceed to university.

She said her daughter has been longing to go back to school so that she can catch up with her lessons.

“Learning has reached a critical moment especially to national exams candidates and no time should be wasted. My daughter has been crying for missing class,” she said.

According to her, she was suspended because of fee balance of Sh25,000.

“I believe the fee balance played a role in my daughter being sent home,” the suspended candidate’s mother said.

School management said they have summoned both parents to appear before the school board on October 17. Mr Nyamolo said they will be granted fair hearing.

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