Olivia Chepngeno: Nakuru Woman Who Left School in Class Seven, Got Pregnant, Gave Birth to 3 Children, Returned, and Ended Up Scoring 327 in KCPE

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After seven years of being away from school, Ms. Olivia Chepngeno couldn’t contain her joy when the KCPE 2023 results were announced by the Minister of Education, Ezekiel Machogu.

It was a jubilant atmosphere at Imani Educational Center in Elburgon, Nakuru County, where teachers, parents, and students danced in celebration of the impressive Class of 2023 results.

Ms. Chepngeno, 23, a mother of three, was beaming with smiles when Taifa Leo visited the school where she had taken her exams.

“I left school seven years ago when I got married. Being a bright student, I discussed with my husband a few years ago, asking if I could return to school and continue my studies,” recalled Ms. Chepngeno, who became the second oldest student at the school, scoring 328 points, just behind the top student with 377 points.

After her husband agreed to her request, Chepngeno approached the school administrator to inquire about registering for the national exam and then returning home to be with her children.

“She came to my office in March this year, asking if she could register for the national exam and return to her family. When she narrated her story after being registered as the last candidate, I saw her potential because she wanted to secure a slot in secondary school and continue her education,” said Ms. Rose Kirui, the school manager, adding that after a brief interview, the student scored 253 points, revealing her academic prowess.

“It took me some time to guide and advise her because I knew that a married woman finding herself back in school wasn’t easy. At one point, I called her husband as I didn’t want to jeopardize their marriage by accepting her into school without his consent,” said Ms. Kirui, noting that the husband eventually agreed for his wife to attend school regularly.

Ms. Kirui also promised to buy school uniforms for Chepngeno and began visiting the school regularly.

In her early days at school, Chepngeno revealed that it felt strange to be in the same school as her children—one in second grade (7 years old), the second-born in PP2 (4 years old), and the third-born, a two-year-old.

“I attribute my success to my husband, teachers, manager, and fellow students who loved, collaborated, and treated me like any other student. As time went on, I got used to it and felt that I was in a good place,” said Chepngeno, adding that she played and participated in various extracurricular activities such as athletics, jump rope, and soccer.

Chepngeno attributes her success to hard work and reliance on God. She mentioned that afternoon classes would end at 10 p.m., then she would go home a few meters away from the school to prepare dinner for her family before returning for evening preparations until 3 a.m.

Her husband, whom she referred to as a caring and loving spouse, would pick her up on time every day after evening preparations.

Calm and humble, she hopes to join Kipsigis Girls for her secondary education and then pursue her degree at Kenyatta University to fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor.

Ms. Kirui, a retired teacher, expressed pride in the school and praised Chepngeno, who has never missed a day of school. She noted that Chepngeno has been disciplined and didn’t see herself as just a mother but as a schoolgirl.

“She did her best, and no one could distinguish her from other students, either in class or on the field. We call on well-wishers to support her because she has the potential to excel in life,” added Ms. Kirui.

The young woman requested assistance from well-wishers to help her succeed in joining Form One next year since her husband works as a manual laborer in the area.

Paying school fees for herself and her children was a significant challenge for the family, but she thanked the school management for covering her school fees.

She urged other parents who got married early, like herself, to return to school and pursue their dreams, emphasizing that marriage is not the end of life.

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benjaminkipkorir December 2, 2023 - 12:27 pm



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