Wednesday, October 21, 2009

KCSE PAPER 1 AS I REMEMBER IT


As I type this, there are thousands of Form Four students scared stiff on whether they will pass the KCSE exams they have started writing this morning. It is a terrifying experience for anybody who has passed through the Kenyan education system.
Every school has two AK-47 wielding cops doing their rounds and trying to look important or maybe they can trace their failures in life to this time back in their day.
As they wonder about what might have happened had they passed those exams, there is another mean looking female teacher seated at the very front reading last week's paper and keeps adjusting her wear. Oh, what it does to a 17-year-old adolescent boy.
She then steps out and comes back with a huge blue mug and one of those "Makes 14 cups of tea" Thermoses or flasks. On the other hand she carries six King Sized "Mandazis".
She then takes her seat and proceeds to empty the thermos and devour the mandazis to your astonishment and your grumbling stomach. The smell is enough to make you forget even the most basic of answers.
Try looking at her and she will treat you the same way the government treats Internally Displaced Persons.
If that is not bad enough, you then turn back and find almost everyone has a "Mwakenya" and others have text books and they are going copying faster than a copy typist. They make "copy and paste" look like child's play.
They then give you the "thumbs up" to show you that their prayers have been answered, literally, and even show you the exact question they are "researching" on.
You look at the "Invigilator" (yes, that's her official name) and she is on her 13th cup of a possible 14 and you almost start crying because besides the hunger, the copying going on behind you is tearing you apart.
The bell rings and you all stand up and hand in your papers. The teacher is full and happy and those behind you have filled their answer sheets and are even happier.
Ironic that after 12 years of education, your adult life will be determined by that exam.

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