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Bridge Academies’ candidates shine in KCPE

Meshack Mutinda (left) of Bridge International School in Gicagi area of Kangemi in Nairobi scored 420 marks. He is with Caleb Ongesa who emerged second at the school with 405 marks. Photo/JEMIMAH MUENI.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 20 – Candidates across the country in public and private primary schools continued celebrations following the release of KCPE examination results.

Among those basking in glory is Meshack Mutinda of Bridge International School in Gicagi area of Kangemi in Nairobi, after garnering 420 marks.

Bridge International Academies are low income private schools in the country and mainly located in informal settlements.

For the fourth consecutive year, pupils at Bridge have performed well in the KCPE exams, with results improving by the year.

Commenting on the KCPE results, Reuben Wambugu, Bridge International Academies’ Schools Director in Kenya said: “The results look positive for Bridge pupils for the 4th year running. We already have pupils scoring over 400 and 350 marks. We’re excited at what strong results mean for the pupils and their communities with many making it to the top high schools due to their top scores. It is encouraging to see the president’s commitment that all pupils will transition to secondary school.”

Jackie Walumbe, who manages the academies’ communications in Kenya said, “Performance of pupils attending Bridge continues to prove that with access to quality education, children can compete and excel in national exams despite their backgrounds.”

She was among officials from Bridge who were at their school in Kangemi, which was among those that produced top performers in this year’s KCPE.

Just like most less privileged children in the slum areas, Mutinda has a story to tell, and it is one of determination and the daily struggles he undergoes to prepare his future.

Residing in deep slums of Kangemi, Mutinda is proof that with hard work discipline and determination anything can be achieved despite the challenges he confronts in his daily life.

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He says his mother, who is a casual laborer, is his biggest motivation because “she has endured a lot of hardships to sustain me in school.”

“I am so happy that all my hard work has paid off and I now hope that this is an inspiration to all children from [Gicagi] that they can too do well,” said Mutinda, with a broad smile on his face.

Mutinda however, says his success wouldn’t have been a reality were it not for the support of his teachers and the (Bridge International School) which he refers to as his second home.

“This school is great, it has really helped me a lot because I remember sometimes back they gave me a scholarship because my mother was not financially stable and she couldn’t pay my fees, that ensured I remain in school to study with the rest of the pupils. This is among the things that have helped me to pass,” he said.

He told FM Capital News that he would like to join the Mpesa Foundation Academy for his secondary school education.
“First I like its vision and the other thing is that it also nurtures talents,” he said.

Mutinda hopes to become an engineer in future and he is also an artist.

His story in however, not very different from that of his fellow classmates, like Caleb Ongesa who emerged second at the school with 405 marks.

Ongesa says he has also faced various challenges in school after his father was involved in a road accident which affected, him but he didn’t lose hope.

“I shed tears when I received these results because I didn’t expect it,” Ongesa said, “My teachers have been very supportive and am happy I made them proud.”

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Ongesa hopes to join Alliance Boys School for his secondary education and aspires to become a lawyer in future so that he can fight for the poor.

Bridge International has academies in Nairobi, Kajiado, Kilifi, Mombasa, Kisii, Malindi, Bungoma and Lamu counties, with most located in low income areas.

The Academy Manager Lanya Vitalis says parents struggle to get fees but as management they try their best not to send their children home.

“We normally sit down with our parents and agree on how they will pay their fees in installments so as to ensure that children remain in school,” said Lanya, adding that Bridge’s objective is to provide quality education to people in informal settlements.

An excited 13 year old Juarez Victoria Mara from Bridge, Lamu was ecstatic after finding out she scored 403 marks: “My teachers have been understanding and supportive, I am happy I have made them proud with a great score. Now I want all girls in my community to go to school and succeed like me. I want girls from my community to know that you can excel in school if work hard.”

Bridge often provides scholarship programs for poor bright pupils, while sending some abroad.

Convener of the Kenyan Parliament Human Rights and SDG4 caucus and MP for Kibra, Ken Okoth, said, “Everyone, government and parents, want to see children doing well in school, so we need to work together with non-formal schools serving informal settlements and pockets of poverty throughout the country, as they are increasing the number of children with access to quality education. The exam results that Bridge has achieved over the last four years confirms in my mind that it is vital Kenya continues to embrace high quality non-formal schools like Bridge.”

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