10 schools yet to reopen in Baringo over insecurity

Tuesday September 5 2017

Joshua Cheptarus, the Secretary-General for Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Baringo branch. Mr Cheptarus has said learning cannot resume in some Baringo schools untill insecurity is fully dealt with. PHOTO | CHEBOTTE KIGEN | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Joshua Cheptarus, the Knut Baringo branch secretary-deneral. Mr Cheptarus has said learning has not resumed in some schools in Baringo due to insecurity. PHOTO | CHEBOTTE KIGEN | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

More than 10 schools remain closed in Baringo County six months after they were shut due to insecurity.

The closure has affected more than 4,000 learners, who have been forced to remain at home.

Most of the schools, both primary and secondary, are located in volatile areas of Baringo North and Baringo South sub-counties.

They were shut last month after bandits attacks.

NATIONAL EXAMINATIONS

On Monday, parents of the affected schools said they were worried of their children’s performance in this year’s national examinations expected to start next month.

“We fear that students from the affected areas were not able to prepare adequately for the exams as they were in and out of school," said Mr Richard Cheptarus, a resident.

Mr Cheptarus went ahead to wonder how children studying under such harsh conditions are expected to compete fairly with their counterparts in other parts of the country.

He said they were tired of being IDPs in their country and appealed to the government to tackle the issue of insecurity which has derailed development for many years in the region.

NORMALCY

Baringo County Commissioner Peter Okwanyo who toured the affected schools said all the schools will be reopened and provided with enough security.

He also urged residents who had fled their homes to return as normalcy had been restored.

The county chief also asked leaders from the affected areas to be on the forefront in preaching peace.

It has also emerged that some schools will require reconstruction after the bandits vandalised them and stole some equipment including iron sheets and solar panels.

LEARNING

However, Joshua Cheptarus, the secretary for Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Baringo branch said learning cannot resume until the government declares the troubled areas safe, adding that they cannot risk the lives of teachers and pupils.

The Knut official had earlier this year ordered all teachers from the insecurity prone areas to withdraw from schools after some teachers were murdered by armed bandits suspected to be from the neighbouring Pokot community.

Last year the government gazetted more than 19 locations in Baringo as unsafe and disturbed and ordered a security operation to tackle the runaway insecurity.