Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata has challenged academicians and religious scholars from the region to carry out extensive research on social problems affecting the region and offer tangible solutions.
Elungata said it was through scientific research that solutions to challenges such as youth gangs, violent extremism, teen pregnancies and dwindling education standards were resolved.
“Scholars’ work is to investigate and offer solutions to different challenges facing society and this region has scholars capable of contributing to different spheres of life. We want your contributions to societal challenges facing the region,” added Elungata while opening a three-day Muslim leaders summit held at Pine Breeze Resort, Nyali sub-county.
He observed that the region has a rich history in the field of education producing scholars like Ali Manzuri and others with ancient libraries spreading in centuries old towns of Lamu, Malindi and Mombasa.
Elungata told the participants that coast academicians have to take the lead role in helping the national government address challenges of violent extremism and terrorism, dismal education standard and outdate cultural practices.
“Society must be built on sound values and it is the role of scholars to shape the thinking of the society in understanding some harmful and outdated cultural practices,” he stated.
The Coast regional commissioner told the gathering that practices such as disco matanga prevalent in Kilifi County have contributed to cases of teen pregnancies, school dropouts and dwindling education standard.
“We can say we are Africans and we should value our culture and traditions. However, we have those practices that are harmful and outdated and it is our scholars who can guide the community to identify and discard such damaging practices,” he observed.
Elungata hailed Kenya Muslims Advisory Council for organizing the three days conference to discuss among other issues the perennial failure of Coastal public schools in the national examinations.
The RC challenged the university academicians and Muslim religious scholars present to discuss and come up with workable solutions into the mass failure of Coast public primary and secondary schools in the national examinations.
“The scholars should investigate what happened to academic giants like Aldinna Visram, Kwale, Shimo la Tewa and Malindi High schools and come up with solutions,” added.
He observed that whereas the national government is rolling out multibillion development projects to harness the economy of the region, the challenge has been lack of manpower to take up job opportunities presented by such massive investments.
“These national government development projects will boost the economy and create job opportunities that require skilled workers. It is the role of local scholars to mentor students to work hard and see the importance of education,” added Elungata.
He also challenged them to ensure they are vaccinated against Covid-19 and debunk myths surrounding the vaccines.
“Most of you are above 50 years. You should go get the vaccines and use your expertise and knowledge to educate the masses of the need to get vaccinated,” he added.
By Galgalo Bocha