NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 24 – Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi on Wednesday ruled out the closure of Garissa Teachers College over student complaints of insecurity.
At a meeting in his Jogoo House office with the college student representatives, Kaimenyi said the final primary teachers examinations would go forward in July and assured them of adequate security.
“The college cannot be closed at it will balkanise the country and it is unconstitutional to deny Kenyans a right to education,” he said.
He however gave those in their first year the option of applying, in writing, for the deferment of their studies to September 2016.
“Garissa Teachers College is secure and students should be encouraged to go back to resume learning. However, those first year students who have categorically stated that they cannot go back to Garissa are advised to request deferment in writing,” he said.
Among the security measures his ministry would be put in place, he said, is the construction of a perimeter wall and chain link fence around the college.
“The perimeter wall can be constructed in the critical areas while the rest can be fenced using the chain link,” it was agreed.
Following the April 2 early morning terrorist attack on Garissa University College, the students complained that they slept outside their hostels for fear of being attacked in a similar fashion.
Kaimenyi therefore directed that the students be, “facilitated to complete the course through constant reassurance and counselling.”
Prior to the April 2 attack, 28, mostly teachers, were ambushed and killed in Mandera while on a bus bound for Nairobi.
Thereafter 36 miners were killed at a quarry. The Kenya National Union of Teachers has since demanded the relocation of its members from North Eastern Kenya until the terror attacks are contained.
Kaimenyi however insisted that the teachers should go back to work and seek reassignment using the procedures laid out by the Teachers Service Commission.
North Eastern political leaders on their part threatened to advertise for and recruit teachers willing to work in the region for themselves.
But while the United Kingdom recently revised its advisory against travel to Mombasa, Garissa and the wider North Eastern region remains in the, “essential travel only,” category due to the aforementioned incidents.