Teachers at Aquinoe are now putting in place the final preparations for the pupils in Class Eight who will soon be taking the national examination, the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education. The exam helps determine whether the pupils can go to secondary school and also to which school they may gain admission.
Only pupils with high scores are admitted to government secondary schools, and even these are divided into national, provincial and district levels, the national schools having the highest kudos. The government pays for tuition in these schools, but they are not completely free as parents still have to pay for boarding costs, uniforms and some books.
Community-based “harambee” secondary schools are an option for students with lower KCPE scores. These are funded and operated by various charities and fund-raising groups. Once again, there are still costs attached to sending children to these schools.