Tana River Deputy County Commissioner Michael Kioni has urged parents in the area to take education of their children seriously as well as support the development of local schools.
Mr. Kioni lamented that many parents did not take care of their children’s education, with many hiding under the guise of poverty to refuse to pay school fees for their children while using their money to buy khat (miraa) and other non-essential things.
Speaking to journalists in his office Monday, Kioni said those who were willing to take their children to secondary schools prefer taking them to schools outside the county, thereby failing to build local institutions.
Consequently, secondary school enrolment in the sub county was very low, because those selected to join schools in most cases decline the offers to join more prestigious schools away from Tana River County, he said.
“Generally, the transition from primary to secondary school is very low because many students either drop out or seek for admission in schools outside the county,” he said.
He told parents to take pride in building local institutions, noting that the schools they deem more prestigious were built by parents of students in those areas.
He said that many girls, especially among the pastoralist communities, were usually married off immediately after sitting their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations, thus frustrating the government efforts of 100 per cent transition.
The administrator said parents from other counties whose children are selected to join the only national schools in form one in the sub county – Hola Boys Secondary School – refuse to take their children to the school due to the notion that Tana River County is insecure.
“This notion is not true because we have beefed up security in this sub county, hence I urge parents from other counties to come to our school as it is safe.
Kioni directed all chiefs and their assistants to collect data on all students who sat their KCPE examinations in 2018 with a view to establishing whether they have joined secondary school or not.
“They should follow up and establish why those students have not taken up their positions in form one with a view to ensuring that all of them enroll in secondary school,” he said.
Data from the county education office indicate that out of the 4,257 students selected to join form one in schools in the county, a paltry 381 had reported to their respective schools by Friday last week, which was the deadline of reporting before the same was extended to Friday this week.
Tana Delta schools had received only 119 students out of the expected 2,017, Tana North Sub County had enrolled 142 students out of 963 expected while Tana River Sub County had recorded 130 arrivals out of the 1,277 selected.
It is however expected that the enrolment will be higher by Friday this week when enrolment for those students in the first selection will end.
By Emmanuel Masha