Turkana central Member of Parliament, John Lodepe,Saturday urged students from the Turkana community who complete high school not to shun the teaching profession.
This follows a debate on the role of local teachers in the academic performance in the county, weeks after the national examinations were released as stakeholders sought answers to declining performance in the region.
Speaking in Lodwar, Lodepe underscored the importance of the teaching career and termed as misleading those who claim the profession is of little relevance.
He noted that many students were shunning the profession in favor of health and social work courses.
“Our youth are shunning the teaching profession and particularly opting for community health and other social work courses because they are better paying. Teaching is very important and as a community we will find ourselves in future having to depend on teachers from other parts of the country,” said Lodepe.
His remarks come at a time when the county is grappling with declining academic performance in national examinations.
Governor Josphat Nanok told the youth not to select jobs, but to pick jobs that come their way and be ambitious.
He narrated his experience saying he worked as a volunteer after graduating from the University where he was earning a paltry Sh 5, 000.
“I know our youth do not like to join the National youth service but I can assure you that it is an easy entry route to the military and national police service,” he said.
He said the NYS offers some of the best technical courses that will enable youth to work in the oil and gas industry.
“Our youth are shunning the NYS yet when other technical people who have gone through the entity are employed in the oil and gas industry they start complaining.
He said the county would hold a conference in March, that will seek to identify the cause of declining academic performance in the region and provide solutions.
Nanok termed the poor performance posted by the county candidates as unacceptable, adding that urgent interventions needed to be made.
The Chairman of the Turkana County Public Service Board, Dr. John Ngasike who has been championing for education matters in the county, through mentorship programmes also supported the MP’s sentiments that local professionals should pursue teaching course.
He said,” a community without teachers to bring up its young ones will forever continue to thrive in backwardness.”
His post on his Facebook page attracted mixed reactions with some opposing him vehemently.
However, all scholars and community members are in agreement that the academic performance has gone down in the area and urgent intervention was needed.
By Peter Gitonga