The fate of hundreds of teachers and learners in the troubled Chesegon area, Kerio Valley region is unknown following the escalating killings in the region.
The insecurity agony has badly affected teachers and learners in twelve among eighteen schools in Cheptulel Location along the West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties border where the latest incident being three people among them a Board of Governors (BOG) teacher at Tuliungwo Primary school were gunned down by bandits on Saturday at Sokotow area along the Lomut ,Chesegon road.
Fresh attacks have left five people dead in the last one month and more than thirty killed since the year began.
Tensions are still high in the area and locals say they are unable to go about their normal activities for fear that the bandits may strike again.
Learning has been paralyzed in Chesegon primary school, Cheptulel Boys, Cheptulel Primary, Arpollo Primary, Cheptulel Girls Secondary schools.
On Tuesday evening, learners and teachers from various schools in the region carrying placards and twigs staged a major demonstration in the area against the rising killings.
The teachers and learners who marched on the road for more than ten kilometers vowed not to go to school until they are guaranteed of their security.
The teachers who were also joined by parents in the protest raised concern over cattle herders grazing near learning institutions citing that this results into learners and teachers being attacked.
Led by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) assistant Secretary Mr. Raymond Lokotulia, the teachers who spoke to the press at Arpollo market called on the government to beef up security in schools.
Mr. Lokotulia cautioned teachers asking them to be careful about their safety in the area.
“You not metal and when ammunition hits you will be a gone case .We are Kenyans. Let death come to an end today,” he said.
He noted that it will be hard for the government to achieve the 100% transition because of the security situation in the area.
He cited that insecurity was contributing to poor performance in schools as learners don’t concentrate on studies.
“The 40% which has not been achieved is being contributed to by this area,” he said.
Mr. Joshua Powon the head teacher at Chesegon Primary said that five schools in Cheptulel location are badly hit by insecurity.
He wondered why the government imposed curfew in the area yet it was contributing to the killings.
Cheptulel zone KEPSHA Chairperson Mr. Julius Naera who is also the Chepkoko Primary head teacher cited that the population of teachers and learners in the region has drastically dropped due to rising insecurity.
“Those from the Marakwet side are not coming because they fear. This has affected education standards.TSC should replace those who have escaped and bring those from within the locality. We need enough teachers,” he said.
Lomut ward administrator Mr. Nelson Lotuliangiro said that schools in the region risk closure to the perennial attacks.
“People killed like dogs. We need the killers to be arrested .Why have they not been nabbed yet they are well known,” he said.
Kostot Primary school teacher Ms. Vivian Chepengat said that they will be forced to quit the profession if action will not be taken.
Parents in the affected areas have continued to raise concerns regarding the security of their children.
Pokot Central Deputy County Commissioner, Mr. Simiyu Were assured residents of their safety saying additional police had been deployed and buffer zones created between the warring communities.
He has appealed to residents of insecurity prone Chesegon to allow their children to resume classes, assuring them that the schools are safe.