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Teachers refuse to return to Kilifi school facing clan dispute

COAST
By Joseph Masha | February 12th 2016

KILIFI: Thirteen teachers who fled Ngamani Primary School after parents invaded it over a clan dispute have refused to return.

Disagreements between Chonyi and Kauma clans forced the closure of the school on February 1, after parents disagreed over the boundary and location of the institution and ethnic composition of teachers at the school.

Reports indicate the ethnic dispute began in 1964 when the school was established.

The teachers have not reported back to school despite assurance of security by State officials.

The 540 pupils of the school in Kauma sub-county went home after angry parents from Kauma clan invaded and attacked the teachers. The parents claimed the teaching staff is dominated by the Chonyi clan yet the school is within Kauma.

Sources indicate tension has been building since January and boiled over on February 1.

On Wednesday, the teachers said they do not feel safe enough to return to school.

ADDRESS PROBLEM

The school's head teacher Bahari Ngala confirmed the teachers had not reported back, saying no consultative meetings involving interested parties had been convened.

Last week, the Kilifi district education office ordered that the school be reopened and that teachers resume work.

Yesterday, Kilifi District Education Officer Mwasaru Mwashengwa said he had chaired a meeting of the school board of management and agreed that the school be reopened.

But Patrick Rasi, executive secretary of KNUT, Kilifi branch, urged the teachers to keep off the school until proper measures are put in place to reassure them of security.

Mr Rasi said the problem between the clans had not been resolved and teachers remained at risk.

He said the teachers would only return to the school when a special meeting with parents from both Chonyi and Kauma communities is held to iron out the differences.

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