Learning has been disrupted in parts of Lamu following the killing of seven people by suspected al shabaab bandits earlier this week.
The killing of six people in Witho and another in Bobo –Sunkia villages in Hindi, in Lamu West has resulted in mass exodus of residents. They are fleeing from the affected areas in fear of further terror attacks.
Schools in these areas are witnessing low or lack of pupil enrolment as parents keep their children out of school due to the building tension in the areas.
Schools like Juhudi and Salamu primary schools had no pupils on Monday. The following day 25 out of 300 students in both schools turned up for learning.
This has left school heads and teachers with no option but to call on the government to ensure security for both learners and teachers so leaning could continue smoothly.
A tutor in one of the schools said that despite the risk being worried about their own safety they have to report to school to boost the morale of the fearful learners and parents.
“We are taking this risk because the parents have refused to release their children from homes. We hope the government will deploy enough security officers to our school, so that our safety can be guaranteed,’’ said the tutor who requested anonymity, saying he feared to give his name for security reasons.
Similarly low pupil enrolment reigns in Hindi where a 62 year old John Gachoya was killed on Monday. Sadly three houses were burned in the area before security officers responded to the distress call to thwart further attacks.
Low attendance was also seen in Bobo Primary School, where tension reigned among pupils present and teachers.
Other primary schools like Majembeni Holy Angels, Mikunnduni and Kangaja showed similar low turnout.
Moses Kalama, a parent at Mikundani primary school said they can’t ignore the obvious signs of insecurity in their areas.
“As such we could not release our children unless security is restored,’’ he said adding that it was obvious there was a challenge with the security.
“In the past we have seen militants target schools, razing them down, so we can’t rule out the same right now that is why we keep our children at home ,’’ explained Kalama.
Kalama said some students had fled the area with parents to Mpeketoni and Kibaoni hence they can’t attend school.
He added that although the Lamu West Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Charles Kitheka convened an urgent meeting with a section of parents, assuring them of the security, residents were still sceptical.
“Let there be calm, because the security agencies are working round the clock to ensure people and their property are safe and protected,’’ the DCC told the fearful residents.
Due to persistent attacks from the al -Shabaab in 2014, schools within the Boni Forest in Lamu were closed down.
“Showing their hate for secular education as opposed to religious indoctrination the militants burned and vandalised schools,’’ said another tutor who had fled the region.
He said the most affected primary schools were in Basuba, Milimani, Mangai, Mararani, and Kiangwe parts in Lamu where the teachers had fled. Sadly the schools were opened after 7 years.
The recent spate of killings have been attributed to local land problems and politics.