No learning in Boni schools as teachers flee over insecurity
Learning has come to a standstill in Barsuba, Milimani, Mangai, Kiangwe and Mararani Primary schools in Boni after teachers fled in fear of their lives.
Despite assurances by the National government over improved security within Boni, a dark cloud hangs over the area with all the teachers fleeing the schools that were only reopened in July this year.
“The Al Shabaab menace has crippled learning in Boni area, with schools being closed since second term this year because of fears that the schools may come under attack at any time,” Famau Ali the head teacher of Kiangwe Primary School told KNA.
Famau who was the only teacher at the school further claimed that the security agents had turned the schools into operational areas in which they camped making it hard for learning to take place.
“Apart from insecurity being a major problem, resources especially food is also scarce and the county government has been slow in disbursing foodstuffs that enable pupils to come to school consistently,” he stated.
At Barsuba Primary School, the head teacher, Abbas Omar expressed pessimism over the state of education in Boni area.
“There cannot be learning in Barsuba unless the government flushes out the Al-Shabaab insurgents,” Omar said.
Omar who has been posted to Mpeketoni primary school until further notice said that most of these children’s families have moved from the Boni area.
“This has forced most head teachers to close the schools as parents are complying with a government directive to move out of the operational Boni area.
Milimani Primary School headteacher, Salim Galana newly posted to Mokowe Arid Primary as a regular teacher until peace is restored echoed similar sentiments.
Salim challenged the government and other stakeholders to come up with better strategies to fight insecurity challenges in Boni that had crippled not only learning but also the development of some parts of Lamu’s mainland area.
On his part Lamu Director of Education, James Micheni stated, “There is need for goodwill on the part of parents to assist the national government in ensuring that education is not threatened in Lamu’s Boni area”.
Micheni said if parents united and decided to ensure that teachers, schools and children were off limits to terror attacks, then learning would resume.
“It is a question of how willing the parents are in ensuring that their children get good education. Parents should not compromise on security issues and need to work with the government in nailing these militants from their hideouts,” Micheni said.
The Lamu County Commissioner (CC), Gilbert Kitiyo further said the national government was working hard to stamp out the militants from their hideouts.
“There is a perception that Boni Schools are not safe which is on the contrary. Police are camping in these schools and so far they are the safest places especially in the operational area of Boni,” Kitiyo said.
By Amenya Ochieng