Return to Garissa college, CS says

Students of Garissa Teachers Training College have vowed not to go back.

Friday May 15 2015

Garissa Teachers Training College student Lenah Kemunto (right) with student leader Braizon Kimani during an interview at Nation Centre on May 5, 2015. The college will not be closed down, Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said on June 24, 2015.PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI |

Garissa Teachers Training College student Lenah Kemunto (right) with student leader Braizon Kimani during an interview at Nation Centre on May 5, 2015. The college will not be closed down, Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said on June 24, 2015.PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MARYANNE GICOBI
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The Education Cabinet Secretary has asked students of Garissa Teachers Training College to go back to school, saying security has been improved.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the Nomadic National Council for Nomadic Education at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi on Friday, Jacob Kaimenyi said that he had sent money to build a wall around the college and had also added more security personnel.

“I only instructed Garissa University College to close indefinitely and students to be absorbed in Moi University, their mother school, but for the teachers training college, I have sent the principal money to build a wall around the school. We have also deployed more security officers, they should go back,” Prof Kaimenyi told journalists.

But speaking to the Nation, chairperson of the college students’ council Braizon Kimani said the students have vowed not to return.

The 600 students have refused to go back to the institution following the killing of 148 students of Garissa University College by Al-Shabaab. Mr Kimani said their college is located about 200 metres from the university which was attacked

“The communication we have is that the government has said it cannot close such an established institution, the TTC, and we should therefore go back, but there is no way I am going back to Garissa. Right now I am at home thinking of the way forward,” said Mr Kimani.

The students’ leader said that some of his colleagues in Embu have called him saying they were seeking the intervention of their governor to collect their belongings from the institution.

“Most of the students have vowed not to report to school, the ones in Embu want their governors to help them pick what they left (behind),” he said.

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On Tuesday, the principal of the college, Muktar Aden, published an advert in the local dailies asking the students to report back.

“This is to inform you that the college opened on 5th May, 2015. All college programmes are ongoing. Any student who has not reported should do so with immediate effect,” read the advert signed by Dr Muktar.

The students refusal to return comes at a time when teachers attached to the public primary and secondary schools in the region have also vowed not to return.

The teachers have refused to report back to schools in Garissa, Mandera and Wajit over insecurity after 28 people, most of them teachers, were killed by Al-Shabaab gunmen when travelling to Nairobi by bus.

Garissa Medical Training College has also been closed indefinitely over security concerns.

Principal Omar Osman said they arrived at the decision after the County Commissioner said the government had no security personnel to deployed there.