Insecurity, poor school infrastructure hampering education in Pastoral areas


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Leaders in West Pokot have raised concerns over poor education due to the lack of infrastructural development and learning facilities in schools.

They said the most affected are the remote, pastoral areas in Kerio Valley region.

It has been established that many learners in West Pokot County still learn under trees because of lack of classrooms.

Some schools in the region were vandalized by bandits.

Residents and area leaders who cited insecurity as the main cause contributing to poor education standards in the semi-arid region now want more resources and funds to improve education in schools and rehabilitate learning institutions that were destroyed by bandits within the region.

They are now calling on the government through the Ministry of Education to put more funds for infrastructure development in schools in remote pastoral areas to improve education and help spur development in the region.

They said that there are biases in giving out the funds in primary and secondary schools and across the Country.

They called on the government to create a clear policy in giving out the funds.

Phillip Yarapong, a resident, said that learners walk for more than four kilometers to school.

“When Lomut River overflows during heavy downpours, children get difficulties crossing it. We prefer them to be borders but there is a challenge of food. Children of four classes learn under trees in Chepser primary school,” he said.

Lomut acting Chief Yohana Loritai noted that learners in the region have embraced education but schools have no classrooms.

“Lomut Primary has many learners and we need three more schools. In Kapsesis, Pelet, Chim, and Purongan schools children learn under trees,” he said.

Christine Lokotan, a resident of Chesegon noted that many learners learn under trees and hence learning is affected.

“They have difficulties during rainfall seasons and have no desks because they sit on stones,” she said.

Speaking on Saturday at Lomut Primary School during the launch of the new school courtesy of the Sigor Constituency Development Fund-CDF residents and leaders said that schools along the borders are in deplorable conditions and learners take their studies in poor learning environments and inadequate infrastructure and facilities.

Sigor MP Peter Lochakapong and his Kapenguria Counterpart Samuel Moroto called for affirmative action in education by putting more resources and improving infrastructure in schools along County borders to help learners in the region access education.

The leaders said that this will help curb insecurity in volatile areas to promote education and help curb insecurity.

“We want equality in giving out the funds. Many children drop out of school because of lack of facilities and hence migrate with their parents in search of pasture and water,” said Mr. Lochakapong.

Mr. Lochakapong who expressed his desire to help alleviate the challenges that pupils face at school through the support of area leaders and County government said there is a need to promote education in interior areas that used to experience insecurity and hence were marginalized.

“This area pastoral areas that were marginalized and we need more infrastructural funds because our children need to access quality education. This is one of the best schools and the second primary school to get a Bus in such a remote area. It will ease movement for learners,” said Mr  Lochakapong.

The legislator pointed out that some schools have not been opened due to insecurity.

“We need more security officers to man the schools. We need schools that were destroyed along the county borders to be reconstructed. The construction of Chesegon Technical Training Institute-TTI stopped due to insecurity,” said Mr Lochakapong.

Mr. Lochakapong said that there is a need to open up more learning institutions in the region for youths to access education and shun banditry.

“Education is the only tool for development that can change the region. We need our children to go to school so that we can compete with other communities,” he said.

He called on the government to beef up security in border schools affected by insecurity.

“Learners and teachers staying in fear due to attacks,” he said.

Mr. Moroto said that it is hard for the County to compete with other Counties because of the many challenges.

‘It is wrong for some areas to get the infrastructure funds but others are left out.

The President promised to set up three boarding primary schools along the West Pokot and Turkana border for learners from the two communities to learn together, “he said.

By Evans Kapusia

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