23 January 2013

Kenya: 11 Tana Delta Schools Out of Session Due to Violence

Photo: The Star
Children going to school in conflict torn Tana Delta region (file photo).

Some eleven schools are not in session in the Tana Delta. The schools were closed following the violence that has left some 200 people dead, several injured and thousands displaced.

Kibusu Primary School is the latest victim. The school closed two weeks ago following an attack on Kibusu village where 11 people were killed including five children.

Two of the children were in their school uniforms when the early morning ambush took place. Tana Delta district education officer Fredrick Njuga told the Star on the phone that they are having difficulties offering support to pupils who fled alongside their families.

"Some 11 schools have not been in session since the schools reopened this year. Residents fled fearing further violence and are now scattered in different areas," he said.

Riketa, Kau, Nduru, Riketa and Semicaro are among the schools which are not in session. Education officials have been overwhelmed in providing humanitarian support as the whereabouts of most of those who fled remain unknown.

Njuga said the teachers have been deployed to other schools. He dismissed calls by local Kenya National Union of Teachers officials urging their members to move to safer zones.

"Teachers are in schools. Knut is not the teachers' employer. Teachers who do not report to work will be punished," he said. The DEO said they are optimistic the district will post good results in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations results expected to be released on Monday.

The violence broke out towards the end of last year when the candidates were preparing to sit the examinations. Four KCPE candidates sat their papers outside the district, according to Njuga, three at Hola and the fourth one in Kirinyaga.

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