LEARNING CENTRE

Bonis want special school for their children

No learning has taken place there since 2014, following a spate of attacks by Shabaabs.

In Summary

• All six schools there have remained shut following the resumption of learning from the Covid-19 closure on January 4.

• At least 10 teachers posted to the schools have yet to report to work.

The Boni community in Lamu has asked the government to set up a special learning centre for over 500 pupils in the area often attacked by al Shabaab insurgents.

All six schools there have remained shut following the resumption of learning from the Covid-19 closure on January 4.

At least 10 teachers posted to the schools have yet to report to work.

No learning has taken place in the schools since 2014, following a spate of attacks by the Shabaab insurgents.

Community leaders want a complex with primary to secondary school-level facilities to be set up at the central Kiangwe village.

A similar learning centre is the Mokowe Arid Zone Primary school in Lamu West, which the community cannot access because of the distance.

Basuba MCA Barissa Deko said it has been hectic for parents to ferry their children to and from the Mokowe Arid Zone facility every year.

“We need a learning centre for our children right here and that’s why we are proposing Kiangwe village as the host,” Deko said.

Boni elder Abdalla Wakatti also urged the government to reintroduce feeding programmes to help keep the children in school.

“Even as we push for a learning centre, they will need to be on full stomachs so as to stay in class; we hope the government can facilitate that,” he said.

Elders said a rise in early pregnancies and marriages have been witnessed due to high number of school dropouts.

“Our children were younger in 2014 but right now, they are grown young men and women. Patience has been impossible for us especially now that there is no silver lining in sight,” Wakatti said.

The Boni, a community of hunters and gatherers, live in the seven villages of Pandanguo, Bodhai, Milimani, Basuba, Mangai, Mararani and Kiangwe inside the Boni Forest.