30 Percent of Children in Machakos Out of School Due to Hunger
The continuous drought and hunger have negatively impacted the operations of most public schools, resulting in a rise in the absence rate of students.
According to several reports, the condition in Machakos County, which is classified as Arid and Semi-arid, remained unchanged.
Michael Ngui, the Yatta sub-county secretary for the Kenya National Union of Teachers, reported that at least 30 percent of children in Machakos County were not attending school because hunger had decimated their homes.
“There is high rate of absenteeism in Machakos County, 30 per cent of children aren’t attending school because of hunger,” he said.
During a public participation meeting on Friday at Machakos Girls, he addressed the press in conjunction with the Presidential Working Committee on CBC.
Ngui, also a member of KNUT’s National Executive Council representing the Eastern area, demanded that the government give emergency food to schools.
“We are requesting both county and national governments to have affirmative action to provide food in our schools because hunger is striving the institutions. Education standards will be lowered if we don’t take that one as affirmative action,” Ngui said.
He was accompanied by union representatives from the sub-counties of Mwala, Machakos, and Kangundo.
During the meeting, the unionists from the KNUT Machakos branch expressed their opinions to the committee.
Among their proposals were that Grades 7, 8, and 9 remain in elementary school, that the Teachers Service Commission hire more teachers, and that Grade 6 students be transported to the nearest schools after their examinations.
“As it’s now, we can’t teach CBC with teachers currently available in primary and secondary schools, more teachers need to be employed,” Ngui said.
He claimed that the previous administration had ignored and frustrated teachers nationwide.
“Teachers are the ones who can make CBC successful. If they are neglected, CBC will fail. They should be well remunerated.”
According to the unionist, President William Ruto’s administration should implement the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiated by teachers with the previous government to encourage teachers.
He said that some teachers were reprimanded and demoted for asking how CBC would be implemented and that some of their colleagues died as a result.
He stated that instructors must be involved, motivated, and valued for the successful implementation of CBC.
“We support CBC, but we need to be involved so that it becomes successful. Both PP1 and PP2 teachers should be employed by TSC in the 2 – 6 – 3 – 3 – 3 curriculum and be managed by primary head teachers,” Ngui said.
Regarding whether boarding schools should be eliminated, Ngui stated that parents should be permitted to send their children to schools within their financial means.
He said those who can send their children to boarding schools should do so, while those who cannot enroll their children in day schools. “Boarding schools have a wealth of resources.
Before implementing any policy changes in the education sector, according to Ngui, the study should be conducted.
The government’s haphazard policies cause failure.
More than 200 students have been absent from Nyacaba Primary School in Juja, Kiambu County, due to hunger.
George Mimi, the principal of a school with more than 1,900 students, says that most of the students are cared for by their grandparents.
Some are orphans, and some parents have abandoned their responsibilities due to alcoholism.
Mimi informed reporters that most of the afflicted youngsters are lucky to be able to afford one meal each day due to the region’s severe drought.
According to him, the issue is exacerbated by the enormous demand for illicit alcoholic beverages reportedly produced in the steep quarries.
The school principal advocated for implementing a sustainable feeding program at the rural school to ensure no student missed school due to hunger.
The semiarid quarry mining region’s school has launched a feeding program under the leadership of the newly elected MP Trizah Wanjiru.
Wanjiru, accompanied by Kiambu Woman Representative Ann Wamuratha, gave food aid to starving locals while announcing intentions to build a kitchen at the school to ensure that students do not miss classes.
The lawmaker committed to gathering resources to guarantee that students have sufficient food to finish their education.
Wamuratha stated that the administration is doing its utmost to provide food aid while also seeking permanent solutions to food security to ensure the nation’s sustainability.
She advocated providing farmers with irrigation water from boreholes and existing dams to increase food production.
The number of Kenyans requiring food assistance has risen to 5.1 million.
Two counties, Homa bay and Siaya have been added to the list, bringing the total to 31.
The current aid initiative targets students in 150 schools in advance of national tests.
In Naiwotorong, Turkana County, where survival is becoming increasingly difficult, residents lined up to receive food aid, a sign of the worsening hunger crisis that has touched millions of Kenyans.
Some claim they have gone up to six days without food and are forced to eat wild fruits to survive.
Residents of the neighboring county of West Pokot ask the government to implement long-term steps to prevent a recurrence of the situation.
As the drought’s effects continue to wreak havoc and the situation continues to deteriorate, the government reports that 846,318 additional Kenyans have been added to the list of people in need, even as it puts out relief efforts to assist the impacted.
The National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) reports that 846,318 people are from Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Kiambu, Machakos, Homa Bay, Migori, Nakuru, Elgeyo/Marakwet, and Siaya counties.
Siaya and Homa Bay have been added to the 29 affected counties, bringing the total to 31.
According to the NDMA, 45 Wards in nine counties have been affected.
As the number of drought-affected Kenyans continues to rise, the Kenya Red Cross Society and Cereal Millers Association on Friday began distributing food aid to 61,000 students in 150 schools across nine counties to keep them in school during the national test season.
Dr. Asha Mohamed remarked, “I believe that 150 schools with a single flag off is something that we must appreciate.”
Kamaldeep Phull, chairman of the Cereal Millers Association, added, “As a responsible organization, we have committed to support vulnerable schoolchildren in various counties by providing nutritious flour during the examination period.”
The cabinet began its debut session, presided over by President William Ruto, with a review of existing governmental initiatives.
Cabinet took note of Cabinet Dispatch Letter Pullout in the continued humanitarian help, including food assistance, health and nutrition, and water trucking to water supply sites.
State and non-state actors say that the failure of the OND [October-November-December] rains has put a strain on resources and personnel as the number of Kenyans who need help grows.