Six schools closed down as families flee clash-torn area

What you need to know:

  • 1,000 pupils and students affected as clashes continue to rock Isiolo County

Six schools in Isiolo have been closed indefinitely after residents fled with their children as violence continued to rock the area.

More than 10 people have been killed in clashes since Friday.

Parents with children attending Daaba, Chumvi Yare, Lowangila, Arimet, Atan and Shambani primary schools in the Ngaremara area withdrew their children from school, including Class Eight pupils, to seek refuge at a church near Isiolo Town.

The schools were on Monday deserted as teachers and pupils stayed away following clashes between rival pastoralist groups over control of grazing land.

About 1,000 pupils and students have been affected even as Internal Security Minister George Saitoti assured residents of Government commitment to beef up security in the area.

Isiolo district education officer Dominic Opee said teachers from the Borana and Somali communities could not report for duty in volatile Ngaremara for fear of attack.

He, however, denied that teachers were seeking mass transfers from affected areas.

“I am not aware that teachers are requesting for transfers from the affected schools. They have only expressed fear for their lives,” he said.

“We will not force teachers to go to school when children are not there and when tension is still high,” he said.

Secondary school students begin writing their national examinations on Tuesday.

Knut Isiolo branch executive secretary Dade Boru acknowledged that teachers from the Borana and Somali communities have complained about threats on their lives at the union’s offices.

“If teachers are victimised because of their ethnic background, they cannot report to the affected areas. This will paralyse learning in public schools and affect education standards,” he said.