Teachers’ Unions Fault Relocation Of Exam Centres From Banditry Blackspots.
Elgeyo Marakwet teachers’ unions have distanced themselves from the government’s decision to relocate examination centers from banditry hotspots in the Kerio Valley to schools in safer areas.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) both stated yesterday that they were not consulted prior to the directive’s issuance three days ago.
Rift Valley regional commissioner Maalim Mohamed said on Thursday that the move will ensure the safety of students taking the KCPE and KCSE exams in March and April.
Marakwet Knut Secretary John Cheberi claimed that the decision was made by security officials without consulting teachers.
Mr Cheberi stated that teachers supervising the exams may be forced to travel long distances in an area ravaged by persistent attacks.
“We were not consulted. Until today, we have not been given the list of examination centres that will be moved and merged with others. The regional commissioner provided the list of affected schools in Baringo and other neighbouring counties,” Mr Cheberi said.
He said the decision is not a lasting solution to the banditry menace and called for the arrest of criminals behind the attacks.
Paul Biwott, his KUPPET counterpart, described the move as a hasty top-down decision.
“The government should have deployed more security personnel to schools in banditry hotspots. We wrote to the concerned authorities seeking for more security agents to areas around the affected schools but that has not been done,” Biwott said.
Kituyi Masibo, the Elgeyo Marakwet County Director of Education, refused to comment on the directive.
Abdrisack Jaldesa, County Commissioner of Baringo County stated that security measures had been put in place to ensure that learning was not disrupted.
Following a wave of insecurity in Muchongoi, Baringo South, at least nine schools were affected.
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According to Baringo South MP Charles Kamuren, students in the affected region are not prepared to take national exams.
According to Joseph Serui, a parent at one of the affected schools, they are hopeful that the government will implement security measures to ensure their children take the exams peacefully.
Despite a recent series of attacks that claimed more than ten lives and displaced some residents, examination centers in Lamu will remain open.
Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata stated that security had been restored and that examination centers would remain open.