Pupils of Kamelei Peace Day and Boarding School in West Pokot celebrated the grand opening of an ultra-modern dining hall worth Sh5 million, which was constructed by the national government through the Ministry of Education.
The development comes as a huge milestone for Kamelei Junior and Primary School learners, who for years have been squatting under trees in the compound to eat their meals in scorching sun and cold weather conditions.
Kamelei Peace Day and Boarding School has a population of over 900 learners all of whom will be enjoying their meals in the newly built hall.
Speaking while commissioning the hall on Wednesday, Pokot South County Director of Education Charles Kitur hailed the progress of the Ministry for ensuring learners in the region have good infrastructure to enable them to achieve the expected academic results.
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the government for their commitment to ensuring our students are well-supported. The government, through the Ministry of Education, provided us with Sh5 million to construct a dining hall in this school, and I am glad that the contractor did an excellent job and the dining hall is now ready for use,” Kitur reiterated.
Kitur noted that the school has students from the Pokot and Marakwet, as well as other communities, and is located at the border of Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties, which has helped to promote peaceful coexistence among the communities.
“The Ministry of Education is committed to ensuring all learners have a conducive environment for reading and learning,” he affirmed.
He explained that the national government, in collaboration with the County Government of West Pokot, has managed to support boarding schools in various schools in the county through funding and supporting their programs.
The education boss pointed out that the number of students in boarding schools in West Pokot County has recently risen due to the facilitation they were getting from the government, which is a good move in ensuring all learners are in school.
The school headteacher Mr. Solomon Kiplagat thanked the government for honouring the school’s proposal for the construction of a dining hall for learners.
“We identified the dining hall as a school infrastructure development that we were in dire need of, and we want to thank the government for supporting us to build it, which will help to address the challenges the pupils have been facing,” he said.
Kiplagat mentioned that with a population of about one thousand learners, there was no good kitchen where food could be prepared for the students, as well as a place that would enable them to gather and sit to enjoy their meal breaks in between their class work due to the harsh cold weather the region experiences.
“I am glad that we now have an ultra-modern dining hall in our school, which will play a great role in ensuring that our learners have a good learning environment,” Kiplagat noted.
He said the dining hall would help to promote interaction between students, as well as serve as a multi-purpose facility for activities such as dramas, debates, watching educational documentaries, and holding school meetings in line with school programmes.
He thanked all security stakeholders for the work they are doing in ensuring peace in the area, saying this has given learners a conducive environment for learning.
Kiplagat urged the parents to ensure that all their children were in school, with more emphasis on a girl child’s education considering the fact that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the area was still a challenge to many girls.
As security matters continue to raise more alarm in some parts of West Pokot County, Tapach Division Assistant County Commissioner Ibrahim Masiaga, reiterated that security in the region had been beefed up and that the government would not allow bandits to disrupt peaceful coexistence of residents as well as learning activities in West Pokot at any cost.
“I want to state categorically that the government is ready to deal with any form of insecurity in the area. However, as of now, we have witnessed no alarm concerning insecurity issues around this area. I want to say that we have our GSU officers around the area who are very vigilant and ready to deal with any form of insecurity,” the CC emphasized.
Masiaga confirmed that the Marakwet in Kapsait ward of Elgeyo Marakwet county and the Pokot community in Lelan ward of West Pokot County have been living peacefully for many years, and encouraged the two communities to continue promoting good coexistence.
By Anthony Melly and Ian Langat