Garissa University held its fourth graduation ceremony as a display of resilience following a devastating terror attack. Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu and Defence Secretary Aden Duale presided over the event. The university stakeholders were praised for their commitment to excellence despite being targeted in the worst terror attack in the region. In 2015, four armed terrorists stormed the campus, resulting in the loss of 148 lives, primarily students.
Duale reflected on the attack and emphasized that the power of education had triumphed over violence. He vowed that such heinous crimes would never be repeated and declared the government’s determination to eliminate the Al Shabaab militants, whose aim was to disrupt social amenities. Duale assured the militants that the government would employ all its forces, including land, air, navy, and special forces, to hunt them down in Kenya and Somalia. He urged residents to unite against the militants and warned those collaborating with the enemy that they would be monitored and held accountable.
Duale expressed concern over the militants’ use of roadside explosives to target security officers and public vehicles. He criticized the terrorists as cowards who were afraid to confront security forces directly. Machogu affirmed the government’s commitment to supporting university education and urged the community to protect the university, emphasizing the challenges of regaining such an institution once lost.
Machogu mentioned that the presidential working party on education reforms would soon present its report to the president. He assured the audience that the report addressed the teacher shortage crisis in Northeastern, aiming for a local solution. Machogu pledged continued support for the university sector, including necessary resources, an enabling environment, and partnerships to facilitate knowledge dissemination, skill development, and societal transformation.
Local leaders voiced concerns about the mass exodus of teachers from the region due to security concerns. They argued that transferring teachers away from the area played into the hands of Al Shabaab and called for a comprehensive approach to combat the enemy’s tactics.
Various other leaders, including committee chairpersons and members of parliament, were also present at the ceremony.