Glory Outreach Assembly (GOA) Church has launched an adult education programme aimed at enhancing literacy and peace among pastoralist communities in marginalized areas of the country.
GOA presiding Bishop David Thagana noted that adult education is the best diplomatic shot at eradicating cattle rustling that has been a thorn in the flesh among the communities for decades.
Bishop Thagana told journalists that the church has piloted the programme in Turkana County, and especially Turkana Central Constituency, where the adult education programme is ongoing at Naotin.
He divulged that the number of learners is growing steadily, adding that 10 sat their KCPE examinations this year; the leading candidate Samson Apayo, 47, scoring 244 marks.
“We found out that we cannot end cattle rustling, which has been the major cause of peace disruptions among these communities, without educating them. We have started several primary schools and the adult school with an aim of imparting relevant knowledge that will change their mindset and eventually they’ll be able to abandon the archaic culture that causes turmoil and ill-blood among them,” Thagana said.
The cleric, who doubles as the General Secretary of the Federation of Evangelical and Indigenous Christian Churches of Kenya (FEICCK), noted with concern that the acrimony between the communities has not been successfully ended despite numerous attempts by the government to resolve the standoffs due to lack of education.
“Our aim is to cultivate peace among the communities and open their minds to other productive economic activities so that they can live harmoniously,” Thagana said.
Naotin Primary School head teacher Emmanuel Eyapan averred that the adult education programme is bearing fruit and attracting more residents to join.
“The programme is helping the locals by barring them from engaging in illegal or antisocial vices since they are spending their time learning whenever they are not attending to their daily livelihood activities,” Eyapan said.
He however noted that the region is in dire need of facilities such as classrooms, desks and other learning materials to make the programme successful.
“The government should complement the efforts made by GOA by ensuring that we get the facilities. Currently we are conducting the classes under trees and we don’t have enough books. People are willing to learn,” he noted.
His sentiments were echoed by Pastor Mark Alibat, a student in the adult education class who said that the programme will transform the lives of the pastoralists.
By Kamau Njoroge
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