Lamu leaders have thrown their weight behind the national government’s plan to reopen the five closed Boni Schools in January that have been closed since 2013 in a bid to restore learning in the area.
The five affected schools, include Basuba, Milimani, Mararani, Mangai and Kiangwe that have remained closed since 2014 following terrorist attacks by suspected Al-Shabaab militants.
Speaking during a public Baraza at Kiangwe on Monday evening, the Regional Commissioner (RC), John Elung’ata revealed that the national government is ready to commit resources towards the reopening of the five schools which he added had been closed for too long.
“I would like to commend Lamu leaders for coming together with the national government to assure Boni residents that their children will once more be able to go to schools near the villages, rather than have to live far from their parents in order to go to school,” Elung’ata stated.
He stated that the national government had already ensured adequate resources in terms of security and teachers, adding that the teachers will be provided with the security they need to commit towards working in these schools.
“The teachers will be staying with the security personnel in their camps in order to assure our teachers that they are safe to work in the Boni schools,” he added.
He also revealed that the schools will be refurbished next month in order for them to have conducive learning environments for the students.
“These schools have not been occupied for long, and the national government will ensure that desks are there as well as the walls are repainted,” the regional commissioner said.
Sentiments echoed by Lamu Governor, Fahim Twaha who was also present at the function in which he commended the national government towards the cause of re-opening the schools in January.
He added that it had been unfortunate that Boni schools could be closed for so long, despite there being improved security not only in Boni but the whole of Lamu.
“It is important that learning normalcy is restored in these five schools in order to aid in improving literacy levels as well as the quality of education around Lamu,” Twaha stated.
The governor also said that the county government would be committing resources towards the training of eight teachers from the Boni area who will then be deployed by the Teachers Service Commission to work in the schools which most teachers from upcountry consider to be hardship areas.
“We need to reopen these schools in order to show the criminals behind the schools closing down that they cannot win against the Kenyan people,” he added.
The Lamu Women Representative, Ruweida Obo in her sentiments lamented that the schools in Boni had been closed for so long, adding that she had implored Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiangi to facilitate the reopening of schools .
“The Boni area in Ijara is much larger than Lamu, yet the schools that are in Wajir are open, thus it is high time these schools reopened in order to provide a good learning environment for these children,” she added.
The Lamu West MP, Stanley Muthama on his part commended the initiative by the national government to re-open the schools saying that it will aid in opening up Lamu County for more investment in schools and technical institutions.
The Lamu East MP, Athman Shariff on his part hailed the national government’s position that the schools needed to be re-opened in order for learning to be restored in the affected areas.
He however, urged the national government to remain vigilant even as the schools reopened.
By Amenya Ochieng