West Pokot leaders want more funds to improve education in the county

Lack of infrastructural Development and learning facilities affecting education in Pastoral areas.

A concern has been raised over lack of infrastructural development and learning facilities in schools in remote, pastoral areas in Kerio Valley region.

It has been established that many learners in West Pokot County still learn under trees because of the lack of classrooms. Some schools in the region were vandalized by bandits.

Residents and area leaders who cited insecurity as the main cause contributing to poor education standards in the semi-arid region now want more resources and funds to improve education in schools and rehabilitate learning institutions that were destroyed by bandits within the region.

They are now calling on the government through the ministry of education to put more funds for infrastructure development in schools in remote pastoral areas to improve education and help spur development in the region.

They claimed that there exists biases in distribution of the funds in primary and secondary schools and across the Country.

Sigor MP Peter Lochakapong and his Kapenguria Counterpart Samuel Moroto called for an affirmative action in education by putting more resources and improving infrastructure in schools along County borders to help learners in the region access education.

They called on the government to create clear policy in giving out the funds.

Speaking on Saturday at Lomut Primary school during the launch of the new school courtesy of the Sigor Constituency Development Fund[CDF] residents and leaders said that schools along the borders are in deplorable conditions and learners take their studies in poor learning environments and inadequate infrastructure and facilities.

The leaders said that this will help curb insecurity in volatile areas to promote education and help curb insecurity.

“We want equality in giving out the funds. Many children drop out of school because of lack of facilities and hence migrate with their parents in search of pasture and water,” Lochakapong said.

Lochakapong who expressed his desire to help alleviate the challenges that pupils face at school through the support of area leaders and County government said there is need to promote education in interior areas which used to experience insecurity hence were marginalized.

“This area pastoral areas that were marginalized and we need more infrastructural funds because our children needs to access quality education .This is one of the best school and the second primary school to get a bus in such like a remote area .It will ease movement for learners,” Lochakapong said.

The legislator pointed out that some schools have not been opened due to insecurity.

“We need more security officers to man the schools. We need schools that were destroyed along the county borders to be reconstructed. The construction of Chesegon Technical Training College[TTI] stopped due to insecurity,” he said.

“Education is the only tool for development that can change the region. We need our children to go to school so that we can compete with other communities.”.

He called on the government to beef up security in border schools affected by insecurity.

“Learners and teachers staying in fear due to attacks,” he said.

Moroto said that it is hard for the County to compete with other Counties because of the many challenges.

‘It is wrong for some areas to get the infrastructure funds but others left out. The President promised to set up three boarding primary schools along the West Pokot and Turkana border for learners from the two communities to learn together,”he said.

Phillip Yarapong, a resident, said that learners walk for more than four kilometers to school.

“When Lomut River overflows during heavy downpour, children get difficulties crossing it. We prefer them to be borders but there is a challenge of food. Children of four classes learn under trees in Chepser primary school,” he said.

Lomut Acting Chief Yohana Loritai noted that learners in the region have embraced education but schools have no classrooms.

“Lomut primary has many learners and we need three more schools. In Kapsesis,Pelet, Chim and Purongan schools children learn under trees,” he said.

Christine Lokotan, a resident of Chesegon noted that many learners learn under trees and hence learning is affected.

“They have difficulties during rainfall seasons and have no desks because they sit on stones,” she said.

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