Impact of land clashes on access to primary and secondary education: A case of Cheyuk settlement scheme, Mount Elgon District, Kenya
Moikut, Simon Ndiwa
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This study sought to investigate the impact of land clashes on access to primary and secondary education in Chepyuk settlement scheme, Mt Elgon district. The objectives of the study were to assess the impact of land clashes on enrolment, staffing, and educational infrastructure. The study adopted the descriptive survey design where the three secondary and fifteen primary schools in the region were sampled purposively. The respondents included eighteen head teachers, seventy two teachers, eighteen parents, one hundred and forty four students, and eighteen Boards of Governors (BoG)/School Management Committee (SMC) chairmen, the District Education Officer (DEO), the Area Education Officer (AEO), the District Officer (DO), two chiefs and two councilors. The data was collected using questionnaires, interview schedules and document analysis. The research instruments were piloted in two schools which were not part of the actual study. The reliability of the research instruments were done through test re-test method and Pearson product moment correlation was used to compute the correlation coefficient of instruments. The two supervisors assessed the validity of research instruments before piloting. The data was analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively using descriptive statistics methods. The frequencies, percentages and the mean were used to analyze the data. The analyzed data was presented in tables, bar graphs, and pie-charts. The study established that land clashes impacted negatively on enrolment, staffing and educational infrastructure. It was found that 100% of the schools in the region were closed in 2006/2007, of which 72% have been re-opened and 28% are still closed. It was found that the closure of schools led to mass displacement of pupils/students in which 32.7% stayed xii at home, 24.56% sought refuge in relatives places, 13% sought refuge in Chepkitale (Mt Elgon forest) and 29.73% transferred to other schools. It was revealed that while at home/relatives/Chepkitale, 37% of the pupils were looking after animals, 21% were working on farms, 16% were engaged in domestic chores, 15% were hunting and gathering, 6% were employed as casual workers and 5% were recruited as militia. It was also revealed that 97.6% of the teachers were displaced, 1.2% of the teachers were killed and 58.8% of the displaced teachers refused to go back to their schools after clashes. Besides, it was found that land clashes of 2006 to 2008 led to destruction of classrooms (22.3%), text books (29.6%) and latrines (18.8%). The destruction was estimated to be 30.089 million Kenya shillings. The study recommended that the government should expedite the resettlement of squatters in Chepyuk phase three settlement scheme, re-open the schools still closed, recruit and post more teachers and disburse special funding to schools in the region to help them replace educational infrastructure destroyed during clashes of 2006 to 2008.