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Sunday, 27 May 2018

leonard cheptumo

Meet the Professor who never went to high school

Thousands of last year’s KCSE examination candidates quietly watched from the sidelines as their A-grade colleagues celebrated good results with song and dance on Tuesday. They scored average grades, but will this be the end of the road for them? Is there hope that these youngsters will one day be great men and women despite scoring average, or even poor grades?
Can a person who never set foot in a secondary school make it in life? Can a person who sat his secondary school examinations as a private candidate ever rise to the top? To find the answer to this question, one needs to look no further than the embattled permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Prof Karega Mutahi.
The professor, who says his greatest weakness is impatience, never set foot in a secondary school classroom. He knows he has come a long way. After struggling through primary school, where at one point he was forced to repeat classes, young Karega registered for Form Four examinations as a private candidate, scoring a Division Two, the equivalent of grade B-minus in the 8-4-4 system.
He just did his CPE exams and never attended the highschool only later to register as a private student and score a division 2.

   Extreme poverty and an absentee father saw him miss out on his secondary school. “I never went to any high school. In fact, in primary school, I had to repeat Class Eight,” confessed the former PS. He sat his Certificate of Primary Education in 1963 and scored an A in English, a B in mathematics, and a D in general paper.

After sitting for CPE,he started out as untrained teacher at kigari
While at Kigari, he enrolled for the Kenya English Test, which allowed him to sit the Kenya Junior Secondary Examination (KJSE), then administered at Form Two level. He was then a teacher in Thika. He passed KJSE and proceeded to enrol for his O-level examinations in 1967.
He scored a Second Division, then again enrolled for A-level examinations in 1968, which he also passed with one principle and two subsidiaries. He then sat for the mature age entrance examination, then administered by the University of East Africa, and passed, allowing him to gain admission to the University of Nairobi in 1973.
He studied for a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and political science. Determined to scale all obstacles, he now holds a Master of Arts in linguistics from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in linguistics from the University of Nairobi, which he was awarded in 1978.

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