Many stories will live to be told about 2018. Many Great stories. Stories of victory and great triumph. Stories of hard work and perseverance. Stories of how Harambee actually became stars after years of waiting to participate in continental tournaments. Stories of wisdom and innovation. Yes! There will be whispers about corruption scandals and road carnage but the 2018 track will forever tell stories that will inspire Kenyans from one generation to another. One such story is the story of George.
I have taken a considerable amount of time trying to think of how best to tell this story without breaking a promise and yet the best approach keeps escaping my pen. At times I have questioned myself. Why? How? Why again? Should I actually write it? Should I do a tweet or just send a card? I still question myself even now. So if I stop writing without telling you the story, just know that I promised to keep it that way.
In the countdown to the start of national examinations, the question that keeps cropping up is the level of preparedness to administer honest tests. Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and top officials at the Kenya National Examinations Council have consistently given the assurance that they have sealed all the loopholes that cheats may exploit to get the papers beforehand and get an unfair advantage over others. This is quite welcome. As we have said before, we must strive to administer leakage-free examinations as that is the only way to restore credibility to our education system. Even so, it is still the cry of many parents that Fred Matiangi takes back his seat as the Education cabinet secretary owing to the great strides that he made as far as quality education and exam administration is concerned in Kenya.
With the laxity expected under CS Amina Mohamed, exam cartels can now dream again. Rogue teachers and parents can now dream again. They can dream of helping their children cheat their way into better grades. They can dream of A’s in their transcripts but they will not be the only ones with dreaming. George, a form four student, whose parents requested that I don’t tell his story yet, has far been dreaming of writing his high school exams. And this year, his dream comes true.
George was diagnosed with malignant tumor while in form three. Let me bring this closer home. Brain tumor represent masses of abnormal cells in the brain that have grown out of control. In most other parts of the body, it is very important to distinguish between benign (non-cancerous) tumors and malignant tumors (cancers). Benign tumors do not grow into nearby tissues or spread to distant areas, so in other parts of the body they are almost never life-threatening. One of the main reasons malignant tumors are so dangerous is because they can spread throughout the body.
Seizures, trouble and pain while speaking, body weakness and depression among other difficulties are not enough to explain the challenges George has had to overcome in his journey to sitting the national exams this year.
In February 2018, George went for treatment in china. His return to Kenya later in March saw him resume classes only for the attacks and seizures to start a month later. George travelled back to China in April where he underwent three surgeries. In June, George came back home hoping the treatment was all but done.
Together with thousands of other students across the country, George’s dream of sitting for the national exams are about to come true. And he is not bothered by exam cartels. “No. they don’t bother me. I have more reasons to rejoice rather than worry about cheating cartels.” Says George who has fully recovered.
George’s parents requested that I don’t tell their son’s story yet and I respect that. I swore I would keep that promise. I always keep my promises. I will not tell how in George, they have a warrior. I will not tell how like many stories that will be told in 2018, the story of George would have ranked up there. I will not tell how his story would have topped inspirational charts for months to come. But I can tell George one thing. That I asked you to wish him success in exams in the comments box below. The ball is in your court.