Garissa chiefs use donkey carts to drive up school enrolment

Chief leads children to enrol in a school in Fafi. [Abdimalik Hajir, Standard]

Nanigi's senior Chief Mahad Burrow Shurie said a meeting with the area MP Salah Yakub in December resolved that local administrators should find children in the villages and help in enrolling them on school.

The low enrollment of children in schools, he noted, was a result of constant terror attacks that resulted in teachers leaving the area.

This he said, contributed to why parents opt to stay with their children at home due to lack of teachers.

"The challenge we have now is the long distance from homes to schools. We have also talked to parents on the importance of taking their children to school, my target is to enrol over 300 children this term," he said.

The administrator said they also did not have any problem with the parents since the area MP Yakub had promised uniforms and other support.

The perennial drought that also makes families shift in search of water and pasture has also contributed to the low enrolment of children in schools, local said some of the children are used by their parents to take care of livestock.

In a recent interview, the lawmaker said it's discriminatory for children in the region to be left without education saying they will push for affirmative action that gives the region privileges for students with lower grades to pursue teaching.

With the next neighbouring Ijara constituency, the lawmakers have promised to sponsor any students willing to pursue teaching, which they argue will provide solutions to the lack of teachers.

School-going child at a borehole in Togweyn, Modogashe, Garissa. Drought has impcated school enrolemnt. [File, Standard]

Fafi like any other area near the border has borne the brunt of al-Shabab attacks in recent years, this has had a negative effect on health and education as staff opted to go elsewhere for their own safety.

"We will try all we can at our disposal to ensure there are teachers because there is no education without teachers and there is no healthy society without healthcare workers," said the Fafi lawmaker.

Garissa county education director Dr Koriyow Hussein welcomed the move by local administrators saying others should emulate the enrollment drive in Fafi he said will boost an initiative by UNICEF to increase school enrollment.

"We are doing everything possible and Chiefs have been our biggest strength in enrollment drive, we urge them to continue helping us, everyone has a responsibility to ensure children are in school, "he said.

He said the ministry of education is collaborating with local NGOs and chiefs in ensuring all children are in school.

The education boss acknowledged that the nomadic style of the has also contributed to the low enrolment of children in schools.