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Special Needs Pupil Tops PLE in Soroti

Benjamin Okoth, who scored aggregate six has difficulty in hearing, talking and has weak limbs and joints.
Benjamin Okoth wih his mother, Sarah Nabirye.

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Benjamin Okoth, a child classified under special needs is one of the best Primary Leaving Examinations, PLE candidates in Soroti. Okoth, who scored six aggregates, has difficulty in hearing, talking and has weak limbs and joints.

The 14- year-old completed Primary Seven at Goshen Primary School located in Western Division, Soroti Municipality. His family almost gave up on him, when the mother failed to raise his fees in preference to other children. 

Okoth’s academic potential would not have been realized, had it not been for the school management that offered him a full scholarship from primary two. 

Winnie Onyanga, the Director of Goshen Nursery and Primary School says they saw Okoth’s potential right from nursery level. She explains that right from Baby Class, Okoth was on top of the class despite his condition. 

She notes that it was very difficult to look after the boy because he needed special attention when going to the washrooms and other places. 

“He was very weak and sickly to the extent that he would fall down every time he tried to play with other children. We gave him a scholarship when we saw that the mother was almost pulling him out of school because of school fees. Even when he joined boarding at upper primary, it was other children helping him bathe, wash clothes and carry him to the kitchen and dormitory.  

According to Onyanga, Okoth is gifted in academics, adding that if given an opportunity, he will be a good resource to the country. 

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Sarah Nabirye, Okoth’s mother says the boy’s health was affected during a domestic brawl with the father. Nabirye, now a single mother of 10 children says the injury inflicted on the boy inside the womb affected him when he was born. 

She revealed that much as Okoth has turned out to be brightest among all her children, she is financially incapacitated to see him through school. The family now lives in an incomplete house which was offered by a well-wisher in Senior Quarters. 

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Okoth says that he wants to become Medical Surgeon in order to help the needy. He hopes to join Kings College Budo.