29 schools have been closed and 31 have been issued with closure notices following Cabinet Secretary George Magoha’s directive to close schools that aren’t safely set up for learners. West Pokot County director of education Jacob Onyiego said most of the schools that were closed had poor infrastructure and were not registered. He noted that a total of 15 private and 14 public schools were shut down which include 26 primary and 3 secondary schools.
Speaking in his office Onyiego said more than 2000 learners were affected but have been relocated to other schools in order to continue with their studies. “Some churches were converted to schools and other learners were being taught under trees. Due to the community’s desire for education, some people started schools without even registering them,” he said. He added that both public and private schools have been caught up in the crack down that aims to close schools with dilapidated structures for the safety of learners.
Onyiego noted that some teachers who were teaching learners were not registered with the Teachers Service Commission and those who were registered have been shifted to other schools. “Some of the closed schools had cracks on the walls, some didn’t have toilets some boarding schools had unsafe dormitories and dirty kitchens,” he said. He added that some schools had land ownership wrangles which affected students.