At least 29 schools have been closed and another 31 served with closure notice by education department in West Pokot County.
Following the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Prof. George Magoha’s directives for the closure of schools that are not safe for learners, a total of 15 private and 14 public schools have been closed in the county.
Confirming the closure in his office in Kapenguria on Wednesday, the area County Director of Education (CDE), Jacob Onyiego said most of the schools that were closed had poor infrastructure and were not registered.
Onyiego said 26 primary and three secondary schools were affected, saying more than 2000 learners were affected but have been relocated to other schools to allow them complete their third term studies.
“It came to our notice that some churches were converted into schools and other learners were being taught under trees. Some community members started schools without even registering them,” he said.
“The public schools were not spared and mainly those with dilapidated structures were not totally closed,” he said.
Onyiego noted that some teachers who were teaching learners were not registered with Teachers Service Commission (TSC), saying those with TSC numbers were transferred to other schools.
“Some of the closed schools had cracks on the walls while others didn’t have toilets as some boarding schools had unsafe dormitories and the kitchen so dirty,” he said.
He added that some schools had land ownership wrangles which affected learning.
“Most of the land in the area is community owned and many residents don’t have title deeds. Some schools were built on land that is owned by individuals and don’t have titles, where school administration have been tussling with individuals over land issues, “said Onyiego.
He said the multiagency team visited the closed schools and came up with enough substantive reasons why they had to be closed.
The CDE said the affected schools will be allowed to continue only after meeting all requirements as stipulated by the ministry.
By John Saina