Stakeholders have been called to a forum to discuss poor performance of Turkana schools in national examinations.
Governor Josphat Nanok has raised concern over alarming mass failure students in the county and warned that the trend was worrying. He has convened a forum before next month to find solutions to causes of the poor results recorded in last year national exams.
“You can imagine out 8000 students who sat for KCSE (last year), we are only sending 227 to the university. That is not the numbers for Turkana, but worse is the performance of our two national schools Turkana Girls and Lodwar High-which rakes cream of our child; but performed so bad that it competed with smaller schools such as Katilu,” he said.
The Governor maintained that the problem was too deep as evident in the failing of students who performed well in primary schools. He urged for a reflection by stakeholders to find what was ailing the education-
“Is it the insufficient number of teachers, or is it that parents are not doing their part or is it is leaders who are not enforcing and making noise to parents and schools. We must build the manpower needed to develop this County,” he added.
The County boss was speaking today after he opened the Missions of Hope International Turkana High School.
He described investment of the County Government in the first term as a “mission of hope” to a region denied investment in education by successive governments before the advent of devolution.
He said the County Government had spent Sh1 billion on bursaries in the last seven years to students in secondary schools, colleges and universities. With support in the sector contributing to growth of schools from 250 to 422 in primary, and development of ECDES from less than 300 to 891 ECDES in seven years of devolution.
He commended Faith based organisations such as Missions of Hope for investing in the education sector and admitted that majority of schools in Turkana owed their existence to the church and other faith organisation.
The County establishment of basic infrastructure development had contributed to further development, with Governor Nanok giving the example of area along the Kerio junction- Ekaales Centre road where institutions of learning have been established.
He encouraged parents not to abandon their parental responsibilities even for children who get sponsorships or support from leaders; and called on the students to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them in the school, to work hard and build their futures.
Founders and Directors of MOHI Rev. Wallace and Mary Kamau thanked the Governor for the support from the County Government and assured that the efforts to invest in education will bear fruit. Mrs. Kamau said Turkana children had the ability to excel in Education but only lacked the opportunity.
The secondary schools targets a student population of over 800.
Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro termed investment in education as developing a treasure for the economic transformation of the region where climatic conditions made it difficult to engage in other economic activities such as agriculture.
On his part Turkana Central MP John Lodepe urged the community to support the school as it benefited children the county. Kanamkemer MCA James Ikeny faulted the Teachers Service Commission for the inadequate number of teachers, which he said will make objectives of 100 percent transition rates a mirage.
Others who spoke include Deputy County Commissioner Alex Mativo, the County Chief Officer for Education, Sports and Social Protection Dr. Lolelea Natade.