Primary and secondary school boys in Samburu County have recorded the lowest turnout after schools were reopened following a nine month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a report by the Samburu county education office has revealed.
The report further shows the low turnout is due to the male circumcision season of 2019/2020 that that takes place after every ten years which saw school boys from the age of eight years undergo the rite of passage to a new age set of Moran’s.
Speaking Monday in Samburu County after an inspection tour of primary and secondary schools in the area, Samburu women representative Maison Leshoomo noted that most boys opt to drop out of school after becoming Morans coupled by insecurity in Samburu North.
Also during the inspection tour, Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Principal Secretary (PS) Joseph Irungu directed that all school age boys that have not reported to school be traced and enrolled back, while appreciating, that rites of passage is part of many cultures in Kenya but it should not lead to school dropouts.
“Chiefs should work with the ward administrators and village council of elders to trace the boys who have not yet reported. We risk losing an entire generation if these boys are not traced and brought back to school,” he said.
Also the PS lauded the girls who have escaped early marriages and those that have given birth and enrolled back to school saying that counselling services will be available to help them cope with their new lives.
At the same time, the PS was concerned, Samburu County has one of the lowest students turn out in the country with 71 percent of secondary students, 50 percent for primary school and 40 percent for ECD.
Samburu central Deputy County Commissioner John Otieno assured that all chiefs and their assistants are cooperating to ensure that all the students have gone back to class.
County Director of Education David Koech expressed optimism that if the school feeding program resumes, student turnout might reach 95 percent.
The team toured Lodekojek and Loltulelei primary schools, Kisima girl’s secondary school and Angata Rongai primary school in Samburu central sub county.
Government spokesman Col. (rtd) Cyrus Oguna said that the inspection tours are following a presidential directive to ensure that all students are back in class after a nine month break due to the Corona virus.
“The assessment on learners and teachers ecosystem is being undertaken countrywide to ensure that all the students are back to class and the ministry of health guidelines against COVID-19 are being followed,” he said.
Also present during the school inspection tour was County Secretary Bosco Ole Sambu, Education CEC Peter Lolmodooni among others.
By Robert Githu