Migori County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich has clarified that there were no Tanzania children learning in local schools.
His statement follows claims that schools in Migori were illegally admitting pupils from the neighbouring country to learn in the country using the free-primary education funds.
Briefing the press today outside his office accompanied by members of the area’s multi-agency committee on education, Cherutich however assured of investigations to identify schools that may be corruptly inflating pupils’ enrolment number using alien children with the aim of getting more funds from the government.
County Director of Education Elizabeth Otieno said that the pupils seen every day crossing over the border at Isebania town into Kenya to learn at Nyamaharaga Primary School and other nearby schools were Kenyans whose parents stayed across the border in Tanzania.
“These are Kenyan nationals whose parents live across the border and therefore have the rights to learn in Kenyan schools,” she explained.
The issue of Tanzania children using education resources illegally in Kenya has remained a burning matter for years among the local people who accuse some head teachers of allowing aliens to learn in their institutions with a view of boosting their schools’ enrollment number to syphon government funds.
But dismissing the narrative, Commissioner Cherutich asked anybody with concreate facts on the claims to present them to the authorities for action to be taken.
Meanwhile, the administrator said the region has recorded a 90 percent school reporting rate by pupils and students since the countrywide reopening of schools this week.
“The 10 percent still remaining at home due to various reasons like lack of school fees, pregnancy or early marriages will be soon fished out by chiefs, their assistants and village elders who have firm instruction of arresting parents still hiding them,” Cherutich explained.
He added that sub committees of the multi-agency body had been formed in all the eight sub counties with a view of ensuring that all learners report back to school as soon as possible.
“As a committee, we have put in place several measures including preparing hospitals and health facilities to effectively deal with any emergencies that may arise from schools in regard to Covid-19,” he told the press conference also attended by the County Executive Committee (CEC) member in charge of Health Retired Major Kepha Nyamita.
He said more than 18,000 desks and lockers had been delivered to schools with more to be supplied soon to ensure all schools complied with social distancing health protocol.
By George Agimba