It started last year with a bang and was heard by other schools. What began as an experiment became a major exercise attracting numerous schools. There was so much interest, that this year’s hosting schools had to limit the number of participants because of limited capacity.
At this year’s event, Asante Africa Foundation not only funded the Enkare Ngiro Mock Exam Competition, but decided to include a second competition that was held in Ole Sankale zone. The Enkare Ng’iro competition attracted sixteen primary schools from five zones, as did the Ole Sankale competition. In total, thirty-two schools were involved this year with 944 students. Enkare Ng’iro had 368 participating students while Ole Sankale zone had 576 students.
The competition hosted at Enkare Ng’iro Primary began on June 29, 2011 as visiting students arrived. Students of Enkare Ngiro Primary School and their families were given a visiting student to host. The young Kenyans were excited to have the opportunity to meet and make new friends. Visiting students were given a warm welcome and soon felt at home. Preparations at Enkare N’giro had been in the works long before students arrived for the event. The head teacher organized committees responsible for purchasing consumables, preparing food and arranging.
Second Zone Group hosted at Ole Sankale School
For Ole Sankale, hosting their first Mock competition was new and they benefitted a great deal from Enkare Ng’iro’s experience. Successes from Enkare were adopted while shortcomings were avoided. Planning was done almost with military precision and guided by the Ministry of Education’s Office. Planning meetings were held on several occasions under the chairmanship of the Zonal Education Officer. The planning committee included the headteachers of participating schools and Asante Africa Foundation’s Program Manager. Because of the expansiveness of the zone and limited funds, Ole Sankale discovered a novel way of decentralizing the administration of the exam. As opposed to Enkare Ng’iro, where students spent the nights at the hosting school, Ole Sankale administered the exam at two centers and students operated from their homes. This played a significant role in saving on costs in accommodation, meals and transportation. In addition, Ole Sankale Primary Boarding school provided its school bus to ferry students and teachers from the two centers to the awards ceremony on the final day.
The Ole Sankale exam competition reflected standard procedures involved during national exams. This attracted a visit from the highest education office in the district, representatives of which were impressed by the organization of the event.
At the end of the event, teachers came away excited, stimulated and eager to “beat the competition” next year. Meanwhile, students left a bit less wary of the exam process. They made some new friends and were eager to get back to improving the scores yet to be marked.