National exam | Arts Stream | Ordinary Session 2014

National exam | Arts Stream | Ordinary Session 2014

The exam’s Comprehension Text

       [1] International TV channels often cover hundreds of stories of young Sub-Saharan Africans who try to emigrate to Europe in search of a better life. They leave their countries crossing the Sahara desert and the sea to reach the continent Many of them lose their lives in the desert. Those who survive face the risk of death while crossing the sea on small and weak boats. Yet, only few migrants give up the dream and decide to return to their home country.

       [2] In Morocco, there are about 15,000 African migrants who are awaiting the opportunity to cross over to Europe to realize their dream for a better life. But as the borders to Europe are more and more controlled, more migrants are stuck in the country. Thomas Estrup, a Danish journalist, visited Morocco and wrote about the difficult situation of these migrants. Joshua is one of them. He is a young Nigerian migrant who has been on the road for more than five years. “No border control or fence will stop him from trying,” writes Thomas. “I will risk my life to get there. Either you succeed in escaping border control and expulsion or you die,” says Joshua.

       [3] Joshua’s father died when he was young. Joshua left school after six years of education. He wanted to become an engineer, but his mother could not pay for his education and his living. Unable to find a job, Joshua left his mother and five siblings, who are all thinking about leaving their home in Nigeria. In 2003, he made the 3,000 kilometres long trip through the desert. “I wanted to change my situation and start a new life,” Joshua says. “I wanted to go to Europe and find any job. I saw people from my hometown coming back from Europe with money.”

       [4] Two years later, Joshua had his chance. He crossed to Spain with a group of seven Africans. He cut his feet and ankles while trying to climb the fences. Worse, he got caught by the Spanish police and was immediately deported back to his homeland. Back in Nigeria, he decided to make the trip through the desert back to Morocco and attempt to go into Europe a second time. “I had lost everything,” says Joshua. “I really wanted to try again.” He made both trips on foot and by car through Niger, Algeria and across the border to Morocco. It took Joshua several months to make each trip, most of which is through the Sahara desert.

       [5] He simply set out alone with no money. During the trips, he would team up with people from other West African countries who were also heading to Europe. “The worst part was the desert in Niger. We were short of water and food. Also, the police would try to catch us,” Joshua says. “If I manage to escape border control, I know that I’ll make it into Europe. I have done it before and I’ll do it again.” he adds.

Adapted from:


National exam | Arts Stream | Ordinary Session 2014 with Answers



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