No learning in Kerio Valley till security is assured: KNUT Branch Secretary
Learning in over 46 schools has been stopped over insecurity concerns that have persisted in Kerio Valley.
Teachers from the 46 schools led by Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary Marakwet Branch, John Cheberi matched to the Sub county education offices in Chesoi to hand over the management of the schools to the sub county education director as the teachers downed their tools.
The angry teachers who braved the scorching sun and steep edges of the Kerio Valley hills to Chesoi on Wednesday vowed not to go back to class until the safety of the teachers and that of learners is assured.
Cheberi said learning will not be going on until every school is provided with at least four Reservists to man the schools and relief food provided to schools since the residents at Kerio Valley did not work on their farms due to insecurity.
“There will be no learning in Kerio Valley schools since learning in the schools have become a dangerous affair, pupils are not even safe in class as bullets hit their class rooms while others crisscross the school during learning,” said the KNUT secretary.
Prior to Wednesday’s declaration teachers and over 2,000 students both in secondary and primary schools all the way from Kipyebo to Liter took to the roads demonstrating over the insecurity that has scared both learners and teachers alike.
Helen Kimutai a teacher at Liter girls high school, that is situated at the border said their lives are at risk as cattle rustling has taken a new twist, saying that criminals perpetrating cattle rustling were now after people’s lives.
Referring to an incident where an elderly woman was shot dead while on a motorbike, along Tot-Chesongoch highway last month, she said now innocent people were being targeted by bandits and the schools were not spared either.
She said her school was insecure to a point that the students were not going for games because bullets hit the playing fields whenever there was fierce gun battles between the reservists and the bandits.
The Marakwet East Sub County Education Director, Kimutai Chirchir admitted that insecurity has been a challenge to schools at the valley but closing them is not a solution.
He said the education stakeholders should be working together to keep the students in school and not stopping learning.
The education director said all schools in Kerio valley except for only five were receiving funds for school feeding programs; “if they close the schools now, learners will not access the food provided by the government,” he said.
By Anne Cheruiyot