West Pokot leaders decry shortage of teachers in the area

West Pokot Governor Prof. Lonyangapuo
West Pokot Governor Prof. Lonyangapuo

A concern has been raised over acute teacher’s shortage in pastoral areas of West Pokot County slowing down the pace of education standards.

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo and Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto have called for affirmative action to employ teachers in the County.

They said the area was marginalized for many decades hence lagged behind in education because of vices like cattle rustling, early forced marriages and female genital mutilation.

Prof Lonyangapuo said that it is a shame for schools to lack teachers yet there are many trained teachers who have not been employed in the area.

He said that the County has a deficit of over 3000 teachers, a move that has not gone well with education stakeholders.

The County boss said parents from marginalized Counties are forced to pay teachers to help their children who are in public schools for them to be able to compete with their brothers and sisters in private schools.

He noted that Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers in the County have been used to help in teaching learners in far flung remote areas.

“The Ministry of Education is not aware that our schools are having no teachers. We want ECDE teachers to help us teach pupils in primary schools,” he said.

The Governor said that there is a need to consider marginalized regions first with West Pokot topping the list.

Speaking at  Kishaunet show ground while addressing more than 1300 ECDE teachers who were employed on permanent basis  Prof Lonyangapuo said area residents have embraced education after shunning cattle rustling.

“We have been having bad adjectives but for now we are rustling with books,” he said Prof Lonyangapuo.

The County boss called on the government to post more teachers in the area citing that the area was marginalized for a long time.

Hon. Moroto said most of the schools are under-staffed which contributes to poor performance.

“There is a shortage of teachers in most of the schools. The Teachers Service Commission should balance deployment of teachers in some of the marginalized Counties.” He said.

He urged the County Director of Education to give returns of under-staffed schools within the County now that peace had resumed across the County and TSC should take action.

“Teachers should not fear to come and work here,” said Moroto.

He noted that schools need to be built well to accommodate learners.

“They should focus most on boarding schools because parents are pastoralists,” he proposed.

The leaders cited that children in the area are now thirsty for education yet the government was lowering teacher’s employment.

Moroto who spoke at Kitalakapel Technical training college last week appealed to the Ministry of Education to post more teachers to the region saying it still has a huge shortage of staff.

He however called on the West Pokot TSC County Director to balance the distribution of teachers across the County equally to enable such far remote regions to get staffed for quality learning and results.