Governor John Mtuta Mruttu this morning opened the Taita Taveta Education Conference attended by hundreds of Primary and Secondary School heads, Early Childhood Development (ECD) Teachers, Supervisors, Chairmen of Boards of Management and other stake-holders.

The theme of the Conference is “Transform Taita Taveta 2020”.

The 2-day Conference in Voi City is organized by Taita Taveta County Government in conjunction with the Central Government Ministry of Education. Other dignitaries in attendance included the County Commissioner, Mr. Oningoi Ole Sosio, Deputy County Commissioner in charge of Voi Sub-County Mr. Khamasi Shivokho, County Director of Education Mr. Jonathan Nyamai, the Deputy Chairman of the County Board of Education Mr Davis Mwailemi and Voi Member of Parliament Hon Jones Mlolwa.

Governor Mruttu singled out the education sector as the Pillar and hope of development in the County, having a big impact on all the other sectors. He lauded the prevailing joint co-operation between the Central Government and his County Government in the field of education as exemplary.

Besides the much-anticipated establishment of Ngerenyi FTC as a Constituent College of Taita Taveta University with emphasis on Agri-business, Governor Mruttu announced a raft of other reform measures aimed at motivating students and boosting learning in County institutions. Governor Mruttu stated that his Government is soon to launch a School feeding Programme whose initial beneficiaries include candidates sitting for national examinations at the end of the year.

In addition, the County Government has scheduled to launch the first-ever Mobile Library Service in Kenya at the end of this month, supported by a fleet of motor cycles to distribute assorted books to all the four Sub Counties. In doing so, the County Government will save colossal sums of money estimated at over Kshs 200 million based on the combined cost of building a library per School for over 200 County Schools.

Commenting on County Education Days aimed at reviewing School performances, Governor Mruttu challenged his audience to consider not only rewarding the best performing schools but, also, publicly seeking explanations from the poor performers.

However, Governor Mruttu decried the rampant social vices of defilement of school children, alcohol and drug abuse and witchcraft. He chided parents for readily accepting to pay for expensive witch doctors from neighboring countries while using poverty as an excuse, whenever they are called upon to support their childrens’ education and other more social or religious causes.

In December 2013, the County Government established a Task Force to inquire into the causes of declining education standards in national examinations. The County was ranked among the worst 10, lumped together with the Counties of Lamu, Wajir, Garissa, Kwale, Kilifi, Isiolo, Mombasa and Kiambu. Samburu topped the list of best performing Counties, followed by Siaya, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Transnzoia, Bomet, Kisumu, Busia, Embu and Uasin Gishu Counties.

Echoing Governor Mruttu’s sentiments, Hon Jones Mlolwa emphasized the need to implement Education Task Force Recommendations contained in numerous Reports which are currently gathering dust, instead of producing more reports.

Voi City, Thursday September 18, 2014

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