The Government has assured teachers of their security following recent attacks that have left at least four teachers killed in a span of less than a week.
The Education Cabinet Secretry (CS), Prof. George Magoha while addressing the press at Machakos Boys on Tuesday morning said the State will continue doing all it can to ensure those working in a hostile environment are provided with adequate security.
The CS nevertheless challenged the local community to help the government in providing security of her employees in their backyard by reporting criminal elements within their midst to security organs.
“The government is ready and willing to protect every Kenyan and every teacher .This we will continue do so with the help of the Interior Ministry. Nonetheless, it is not possible that terrorists can come out of nowhere without the knowledge of the local community and kill people perceived to be non-locals. Some of the locals must be answerable,” said Prof. Magoha who was accompanied by the Machakos County Director of Education, Shamsha Adan among others.
Prof. Magogha who was reacting to the recent killing of three teachers by suspected Al Shabaab militia in Garissa on Monday, similarly condemned the incident and said criminals should never use religion as a pretext of killing innocent Kenyans.
The victims (all non-locals) were shot dead on Monday morning after gunmen attacked Kamuthe Resource Centre in Garissa County in the dead of the night.
Another male adult was also hit and injured by a stray bullet during the 2 am incident while female teachers and nurses at the institution were reportedly spared after being identified by the terrorists.
In another shocking incident, a female teacher was killed by suspected parents in Kitui County on Monday last week over alleged poor performance in the school she was working.
The victim , Mrs. Daisy Mbaluka Mbathe who was a staff at Ndoon Primary School in Endau zone, Mutitu sub county was attacked by people armed with pangas who massacred her before her body was burnt to ashes; she was accosted as she was taking her children to school.
And in regard to the Government plan to ensure there is a 100 per cent transition from primary school the Education CS has insisted that no Principal should turn away a student due to lack of school fees.
He said any needy student who turns up in school for the ongoing Form One admission should be allowed in school as ways are sourced on how school fees would be paid.
“We are reiterating that no student should be turned away since he does not have school fees. As long as a child has presented herself or himself in any public school let her be admitted,” he added.
Magoha has also hailed individuals who are coming out to assist needy students and has encouraged many more to do so saying this will greatly lower the burden of poor families who cannot afford to take their children to school.
On his part, the Machakos Boys School Principal, Indimuli Kahi said the school has come up with an ingenious method of raising fees for needy students through a welfare kitty where every student contributes Sh.200 to that end.
Indimuli who also doubles as the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) chair also called on the Government to create a database where anyone intending to donate to the kitty can deposit his contributions in order to assist needy students acquire education.
“My appeal is for the Government to come up with a system where those intending to sponsor needy children can channel such funds after registering in a database. Our school has already started a welfare for needy students where each student pays Sh 200 for fees for those who are not in a position to pay,” he explained.
The KESSHA boss similarly lauded the Ministry of Education for introducing the online student admission criteria which he said has eased the process of admission of Form One students across the country.
The Government launched the online Form One admission in 2019 to create a database for all students joining secondary schools.
The information will then be used for allocation of grants from the State under the subsidized learning programme, registration for medical insurance and recording of transition from primary to high school.
By Samuel Maina/Lydia Mutanu