Tragic: 2019 KCSE candidate dies moments after sitting paper

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha inspects 2019 KCSE Chemistry Practical exams in a Nairobi school. This year's Chemistry practical has been doffed by cheating claims and assertions that one of the reagents used is very poisonous.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha inspects 2019 KCSE Chemistry Practical exams in a Nairobi school. The CS has given Principals to increase fees, but with consultations.

A candidate sitting for this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, KCSE, exams died under unclear circumstances moments after completing his Biology Paper 3 (practical). The student at Memba mixed Secondary school in Rarieda, Siaya County, collapsed moments after he had sat for the exam that was done on Friday November 15, 2019.

The student identified as Juma Fredrick felt unwell after the exam. He then went ahead to inform his colleagues how he felt. This is when he collapsed and was rushed to St Mary’s Lwak Mission Hospital. On arriving at the hospital, he was pronounced dead.

This comes days after another students died after sitting his Chemistry Practical exams. Victor Kiptoo, a student at Barina Mixed Day and Boarding Secondary School died days after the Chemistry Practical exam that was done on Friday November 8, 2019. According to reports, Kiptoo died after developing chest pains; supposedly as a result of exposure to Xylene, one of the chemicals used during the practical. Several teachers and students complained of illnesses as a result of the exposure to the poisonous reagent.

MINISTRY DENIES CLAIMS

But, the Ministry of Education has come out to deny claims that the Chemicals used in the Chemistry practical this year were dangerous. The  Principal Secretary for Early Learning and Basic Education (PS), Dr. Belio Kipsang has clarified that the chemicals that were used during the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination during the chemistry practical are the same ones students have been using during chemistry practicals in regular lessons. The PS said the Ministry had not received any formal complaint about the chemicals.

The 2019 KCSE exams end on November 27, 2019.

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