Kitui parents who fail to send their children back to school risk arrest and prosecution, County Commissioner John Ondego has warned.
Ondego said security officers and chiefs were following up on cases where learners failed to report back to school after the nine-month break occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are collecting reports on learners’ turnout so that we can identify and eventually track down all those who fail to resume studies. We are keen to achieve zero truancy across Kitui,” he told reporters in his office on Wednesday.
“Let parents who refuse to send their children back to school by the end of this week be warned that they will be arrested and prosecuted,” added the County Commissioner.
Ondego reminded parents that public primary and day secondary education is free, hence there was no excuse to have a pupil or student drop out of school.
He further revealed that several suspects had been apprehended and arraigned in court for allegedly impregnating school girls.
“We are still hunting down for other culprits so that they can face the full force of the law and justice served for the abused minors,” he emphasized.
Meanwhile, as public schools struggle to adhere to in-person learning guidelines set by the Education and Health Ministries, the situation is different in private schools.
A spot check at Central Primary School in Kitui Town showed that achieving the recommended social distancing amongst learners was a tall order.
The head teacher Michael Kaboro said though the school was able to effect other directives like temperature recording and hand washing, it was impossible to distance learners in classrooms.
“We have a population of over 1,700 pupils but there isn’t adequate infrastructure to allow the required social distancing,” regretted Mr. Kaboro.
However, some private institutions in the county have been able to achieve social distancing amongst learners as well as ensure proper hand hygiene to forestall possible spread of coronavirus.
“We have been able to adhere to all directives issued by the government on in-person learning in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic,” prided Bernard Mulwa, the head teacher of Angelica Academy in Kitui Rural.
By Yobesh Onwong’a