How illegal Mau forest schools received government funding - Beaking Kenya News

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Thursday, 29 August 2019

How illegal Mau forest schools received government funding

Mau Forest
BAYA SAMUEL
By BAYA SAMUEL
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The planned second phase of evictions targeting grabbers of Mau Forest land has blown the lid off the scandal of 15 schools that have been illegally receiving government funding.
In fact, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya has refused to recognise the centres as schools, terming them as “structures” and products of “deceit”.
But then, it has emerged that the disputed learning stations have received at least Sh60 million in taxpayers’ money for infrastructure development.
“The community centres or the so called schools are actually not registered because they have no land documents,” Mr Natembeya said on Wednesday.
“They are not manned by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). They don’t benefit from free primary education, and they are basically centres where young boys and girls go there to waste their lives.”
CORRUPT OFFICIALS
The schools include Chebirebelek, Chebetet, Lelechwet, Kiroboni, Senetwet, Kapislibwo, Kitoben and Indiani.
Others are Kabarak, Noosagami, Chorwet, Ogiglgwe, Sebetet, Olabai and Koitabai.
And come next Monday when schools will be reopening for third term, Mr Natembeya said no pupil should report to the centres.
Parents, the regional chief said, should immediately take their children to the government-recognised institutions where funds for free primary education were sent.
He blamed the existence of the “phony” schools on senior government officials and politicians who took children to those centres “to prove that they are schools”.
He said each of the centres in question have a corresponding school outside the forest and the funds used to build classrooms in the forest area were actually allocated to government-registered schools.
CAPITATION
The corrupt government officials and local politicians, he said, were the ones who instructed the heads of state-sponsored schools to construct classes in the forest.
“For example a school like Keroboni, the claim is that it is mentored by Triangle Primary School, a government registered school,” he said.
“So Triangle Primary School is registered with TSC teachers but again it is mentoring another school inside the forest.”
The man who chairs the Mau Forest Restoration Steering Committee said the disputed schools were like parasites.
“They (corrupt state officials) would allocate funds to the fully registered schools and then personally go and direct the heads of schools to divert the funds to build structures in these centres,” he said.
“In the 15 primary schools, each of the school literally received about Sh4 million. This is a big deceit to the Kenyan taxpayers.”
CHILDREN
He warned local politicians to stop playing politics with the future of Kenyan children.
“We know even as we now move to phase two, somebody would just like to play mischief that the children are being chased out of their schools,” he said.
“We don’t want our children to be used by people who are outside there to make a point.”
The sentiments by the RC are likely to further escalate the issue of public institutions in the targeted areas after Rift Valley leaders last Saturday claimed that the evictions targeted areas with government-run schools.
Led by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, the leaders said the parcels in Narok South cannot be categorised as titled as it is a trust land managed by the County Government of Narok.
“This is an area that has three MCAs, has several government-registered schools with over 10,000 school children. By the time the government was gazetting them as wards, it was aware that it is not a forest,” Mr Murkomen said.

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