Gov’t assures pastoral communities of access to equitable education

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The government is committed to addressing problems hindering access to equitable quality education by children in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas (ASALs) in the country.

Education Cabinet Secretary Mr. Ezekiel Machogu said the government has established the National Council for Nomadic Education in Kenya (NACONEK) to provide structures and support education in all ASAL and marginalized areas.

Machogu said this when he met the members of Kenya Pastoralist Parliamentary Group (PPG) in his office, noting that the government runs the School Meals Programme to attract and retain children in schools.

“The government is exploring ways of providing opportunities for prospective teachers from the area, to train and deploy them to the region to address the severe teacher shortage in the region,” said Machogu.

The CS said that the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Water will drill boreholes in schools in the region to enable learners have reliable sources of water.

In his remarks, the Patron of PPG, Col (Rtd) Ali Raso Dido, who led the delegation, noted that the prolonged drought in the area had adversely affected delivery of education services in pastoral communities.

He said school feeding programme in ASAL areas helped to attract and keep children in school, adding that the teacher shortage in the area compounded the challenge of access to quality education.

The Principal Secretary for the State Department for Basic education, Dr. Belio Kipsang allayed fears that children from pastoral communities were denied opportunities of admission to National schools.

“The top five KCPE candidates from every sub-county are admitted into schools of their choice,” Kipsang said, adding that the policy has ensured that top learners in KCPE can be admitted into National schools from each Sub county.

Dr. Beatrice Inyangala, the Principal Secretary for University Education and Research advised the members of PPG to sensitize their Constituents about scholarships the Ministry provides in partnership with foreign governments.

“The Ministry received scholarships for bright students but only those who applied for them were considered,” she stated.

In her remarks, the Principal Secretary for Vocational and Technical Training counterparts, Dr. Esther Muoria assured the PPG members that the government’s programme to Technical Training institutes would benefit their respective Constituencies.

Present at the meeting were the Chief Executive Officers of National Council for Nomadic Education in Kenya (NACONEK) Mr. Harun Mohamed Yusuf and the Director for Primary Education, Mrs. Nareah Olick.

By Bernadette Khaduli

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