Hundreds of residents in the three counties of the North Eastern Province today took to the streets protesting against the worsening situation in the education sector in the region.
Led by civil society groups in the region, the placard waving students, parents and angry residents presented their grievances to the local education offices.
Education in the region came down to its knees after non-local teachers fled the region following increased terror threats climaxed by the Garissa University attack on April 2 in which 147 people most of the students lost their lives.
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Activist Ali Awdol said that they came up with the initiative after the government proved non-committal over the collapsing education in the region.
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In Garissa, the procession started from Garissa Primary school and ended at the county headquarters in Province area where activists presented a raft of demands and recommendations to the regional commissioner’s office.
“Children have the right to education. We are here today demanding that right and raise the plight of our children” said Awdol.
Locals say Al-shabaab is having the last laugh as they have reached their target as the government seems resigned to defeat with the way it managed the crisis. More than 800 non-local teachers sought transfers to other parts of the country. Although the void they left could not be filled, schools employed non trained teachers while many local form four leavers volunteered to teach.
Dear GOK, End Corruption, hire qualified security officers and stop scapegoating NEP for ur incompetence. #EndNEPEducationCrisisNow
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In Wajir the Wajir procession started from the county headquarters and ended at the county commissioner’s office while in Mandera the protest begun from Moi Girls school to the TSC offices and then to the county commissioner’s office.
The processions at the counties came even as leaders from the region today held a consultative meeting with Ministry of Education and Teachers Service Commission on the status of Education in the region. The meeting was chaired by Deputy President William Ruto.
Led by Majority Leader in the National Assembly and Garissa Township MP Aden Duale, the leaders agreed with the Ministry of Education and Teachers Service Commission that extra Teachers and untrained teachers will be employed through the Board of Management of both primary & secondary schools in the three counties of North Eastern.
“We also agreed that this year, KNEC will administer the Kenya National Examination in NEP like the rest of the country and Teacher Training Colleges will admit 500 students from NEP in the next 3years in order to have more local teachers in the future” Said Duale.
The leaders previously rejected calls to have National Examinations postponed in the region.