Raila: I’ll lower entry grades for trainee teachers from North Eastern

Azimio la Umoja flagbearer Raila Odinga

Azimio la Umoja flagbearer Raila Odinga when he campaigned in Wajir on June 26, 2022. He pledged to lower entry grades for teacher trainees in the northern counties to address a huge shortage of tutors in the region.

Photo credit: Pool | Nation Media Group

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition flagbearer Raila Odinga has pledged to lower entry grades for teacher trainees in the northern counties to address a huge shortage of tutors in the region.

Speaking in Habaswein township, Wajir County, Mr Odinga said his government will use affirmative action to ensure the area has adequate teachers.

“Because of the lack of teachers due to insecurity, we will ensure the youth here can go to teacher training schools even with Grade E,” he said.

An earlier push to lower entry grades for teachers from marginalised counties was rejected by the government. There has been an exodus of non-local teachers from Wajir, Mandera and Garissa due to insecurity.

Mr Odinga said training of more local tutors would help bridge the gap. “From September, all trained teachers and who are yet to be employed shall all be hired. Insecurity has cost this region but affirmative action shall help correct all that,” he said.

Al-Shabaab attack

In 2014, Al-Shabaab militants hijacked a bus in Mandera, commandeered it towards Somalia and killed at least 28 passengers, most of whom were teachers who were heading to Nairobi for December holidays.

Mr Odinga, who was accompanied by his running mate Martha Karua and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, also promised free education from nursery to university.

“After their education, our youths will get quality jobs; not pushing wheelbarrows,” he said.

Mr Odinga further promised a livestock insurance scheme to cushion pastoralists from losses during drought and the establishment of an export abattoir in Wajir. The Isiolo-Habaswein-Wajir-Mandera road, he said, would be tarmacked to open up the region.

Mr Odinga also pledged to dig more boreholes and promote water harvesting. He promised to improve access to health services through BabaCare and a social protection scheme for the poor and widows.

Loans to start businesses

He said youth and women groups will be given loans to start businesses. He urged Kenyans to reject Deputy President William Ruto on August 9, saying the UDA leader cannot be trusted.

The former prime minister said Dr Ruto had failed to fulfil promises made in the 2013 polls, including creating more than a million jobs, building of international stadiums and giving pupils laptops.

“They promised laptops in all schools. Have you seen them? They are promising millions for women in business. That is another lie,” he said. 

Mr Odinga also reiterated his promise to open the Kenya-Somalia border if he gets to State House. Mr Musyoka said the opening of the border will boost trade and help lower the cost of sugar, rice and other goods.

The border has remained closed since 2015 at the height of the terror incidents in the region. Kenya said it would build a security wall at the border, but the project has since stalled.

Azimio’s tour of northern Kenya with a total of 626,261 registered voters seeks to lock Dr Ruto out of the region. Others present were Cotu boss Francis Atwoli and former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth.

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