By John Majau
Education stakeholders in Isiolo County have expressed concern over the high number of secondary school students sneaking out of school to attend political rallies for monetary gains.
Led by County Parents Association Chair Ismael Galma, the stakeholders said a high number of absenteeism cases were reported in Isiolo town and its environs over the last one month.
He added that they had established that students carry civilian clothes in their bags and put them on during rallies.
He went on to suggest that politicians should confine their campaigns to weekends only.
“It’s sad that principals haven’t addressed such a serious issue which has adverse effects on students’ performance,” he said.
The association’s treasurer Lydia Ntinyari said school heads must ensure headcounts are done in the morning, mid-morning and afternoons to ensure all learners are in class.
“Teachers and principals should conduct regular checks to establish those not in schools and then notify their parents for action,” the official said.
She expressed concern that the money the students get from politicians at rallies could promote drug and substance abuse among children.
“We are afraid they could use the money that ranges from Shs 500 to Shs 2,000 to buy drugs and ruin their lives,” she noted.
Addressing journalists in Isiolo town, the two urged education officials and the Teachers Service Commission to intervene.
County Director of Education James Nyaga said his office had received the complaints and that investigations were underway.
“We have asked the school management to conduct morning and afternoon headcounts,” he said.
Mwenda Thuranira, an aspirant for the Isiolo North MP seat, decried the practice of youths hanging on politicians’ vehicles and endangering their lives.