Knut calls for bursaries, school feeding programmes in Northern Kenya.
Garissa Knut executive Abdirizack Hussein has warned that if learners from the region are not supported with bursaries, their chances of dropping out are high.
Speaking to the press, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) official said that the majority of parents rely on the livestock trade to pay their school fees. However, given the ongoing drought, this has been difficult.
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“Surely, where do you expect such a parent to get the money to pay schools fees?” asked the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) official.
According to Hussein, most students come from low-income families, and if they are not supported with bursaries, their chances of dropping out are high.
He also urged the state to move quickly and release the capitation funds so that school principals could buy food for their students, without which school operations would be impossible.
Last month, Devolution CAS Abdul Bahari announced that the state would soon begin awarding bursaries to children from Garissa's nine sub-counties whose families had been severely impacted by the current drought.
He stated that the process of identifying the families was still in progress.
According to the CAS, local administrators will work closely with village elders to ensure that the bursaries are distributed to the most deserving students.
“As you are aware, our communities largely depend on livestock for their livelihoods, which have since been adversely affected by the current drought. Some of these families have children who were supposed to be joining secondary school,” Bahari said.
“Such families have to be assisted, otherwise, they won’t be able to take their children to school. As a government, that is what we are trying to avoid. We want 100 per cent transition.”
According to the National Drought Management Authority, the overall security situation is critical, and rains have failed for two seasons in a row.
Surface water sources have run dry, putting a strain on boreholes across the county. Because pastures are dry and depleted throughout the county, herders drive livestock outside of normal dry season grazing areas.
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