As confusion rocks public institutions over strike threat issued by teachers, some 25 schools in banditry-prone areas of Baringo county have re-opened after normalcy returned.
To the pupils and pupils in affected areas, the strike threat and teachers pay row is not among their worries as the institutions have been closed for two terms following inter-clan attacks that claimed hundreds of lives.
But now the more than 38,000 pupils, most whose families had fled their homes, can sigh with relief after normalcy returned with deployment of more security officers.
Police camps have also been set up in hotspots to avert fresh attacks. National Youth Service (NYS) officers have re-constructed torched schools and residents are now returning to their homes.
Institutions where learning had been paralysed in Baringo North include Chepkewel, Kalabata, Yatia, Sibilo, Kapturo, Chemindany,Tilingwo, Kagivr, Ng’aratuko,Kosile, Rormoch, Chepk sin, Kamwetio, Chepkew, Barketiew and Moinonin primary schools.
In Baringo South Arabal, Ruggus, Mukutani, Kasiela, Chebinyiny, Chemorong’yon, Ng’elecha and Kapindasum primary schools had also been closed. Most of the schools had to be refurbished after bandits stole equipment, including iron sheets and solar panels before setting ablaze some structures.
In some schools, classrooms had been converted into cattle sheds, with herders dismantling pupils’ desks and turning them into troughs as blackboards served as doors for cattle sheds. Baringo County commissioner Peter Okwanyo said rehabilitation of Arabal, Kasiela and Kapindasim primary schools is still ongoing.
He said NYS will also construct staff houses as he encouraged residents to return to their homes. “I want to urge those who had fled their homes to come back as security is beefed up and also GSU camps have been set up in the area,” said Okwanyo.
He said the government has opened up roads in volatile areas near Noosukro, Ruggus, Kiserian and Sokotei primary schools. “More than 600 youths have been recruited in Baringo South and North to work with the National Youth Services in the reconstruction and repair of water sources and other public utilities,” said Okwanyo. The government, through the NYS, has already reconstructed more than 400 houses in the two sub-counties.