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1.2 m children dropped out of schools in 10 Northeastern counties

By Antony Gitonga | February 1st 2021
Mandera Governor Ali Roba (L) who is also the chair Frontier Counties Development Council with his counterparts Dhadho Godhana (Tana River) and Josephat Nanok (Turkana) in Naivasha on 31/1/21. [Anthony Gitonga, Standard]

At least 1.2 million children have dropped out of school in 10 North Eastern counties.

Governors from the region attributed the high number of dropouts to insecurity, lack of teachers, drought and recently the Covid-19 pandemic.

They said when the schools reopened early this year after the Covid-19 pandemic, a total of 107,000 learners did not report back to their schools.

The county chiefs who met under the Frontier Counties Development Council blamed the State, saying the Ministry of Education has not done enough to address the issues around the large number of dropouts.

Of the counties, Mandera is the most affected with 265,000 students out of class followed by Garissa (255,000), Wajir (237,000), Turkana (224,000) and Marsabit with over 94,000 learners.

This emerged at the end of a two-day retreat for governors from the 10 counties.

Addressing the Press, chair of the council Ali Roba who is also Mandera governor identified lack of teachers as the main challenge currently facing the education sector.

“In the 10 counties, over 1,295,000 students are out of school while another 107,556 dropped from classes due to the ongoing pandemic,” he said.

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He revisited the move by the Teachers Service Commission to withdraw teachers from Mandera, Wajir and Garissa on security grounds as the biggest blow to them.

“Currently we face a shortage of 3,010 teachers in primary schools and another 437 in secondary schools and we are asking the president to intervene,” he said.

Flanked by fellow governors, Roba added that the ongoing drought had affected hundreds of families, with fears that lives could be lost in the coming months.

The council at the same time expressed concern over deteriorating peace situation, notably the Kapedo, Isiolo-Wajir and the Wajir-Garissa clashes.

Others present during the retreat in Naivasha included Governors Mohamud Ali (Marsabit), Josephat Nanok (Turkana), Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu), and Dhadho Godhana (Tana River).

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