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Kenya bans admission of foreign students in terror-hit border region

Friday, June 12, 2015

NAIROBI -- Kenya's education officials have banned admission of foreign students in northeastern Mandera county, which has been hit by Somalia-based Al-Shabaab attacks.

Mandera County Director of Education Ismael Barrow said Thursday the drastic move, which came from education ministry, follows a high influx of foreign students into Mandera schools.

"However, foreign students who have already been admitted will continue learning but under close surveillance," Barrow said in Mandera town.

He said a recently collected data by his department indicates that there are 890 foreign students in primary and secondary schools in the county. The officer revealed that schools close the Kenya-Somalia border have the highest number of foreign students, with private schools having the highest admissions.

Barrow said there are 31 private primary schools in the county, with Mandera town leading with 25 primary.

The drastic move came after increased terror threats across the country targeting schools and colleges, some of which have been closed for fear of attacks by Somali militants.

Al-Shabaab has warned of more attacks in Kenya like the assault on Garissa University College in which 148 people were killed.

Also a secondary school student in Western Kenya is being interrogated after allegedly confessing to being a member of Al- Shabaab.

The student told teachers at the St. Ignatius Mukumu Boys' High School in Kakamega County about his involvement in the militia group. The student further claimed that there are three other students that had a connection to Al-Shabaab.

The student claims that he was recruited into Al-Shabaab when he was a student in a Nairobi school.

Last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta urged schools and universities to device ways of detecting and thwarting terror attacks in their institutions.

Kenyatta said university administrators must liaise with security chiefs and organize a program to train students on how to respond in case of terror attacks.


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