Governor Simon Kachapin led celebrations at Ortum Boys High School to mark World Catholic Education Day themed ‘Values and Virtues for Inspiration of Learner for Self-Control”.

The celebrations which brought together Catholic-sponsored schools from West Pokot and Trans-Nzoia, sought to highlight on the role of the Catholic Church in advancing educational values in both counties and across the world.

The governor termed the Catholic Church a game changer in the sector, producing great values and providing an environment for excellence.

“We have gathered here today to celebrate the transformative power of the Catholic Church through education, and its positive impact on the lives of our young people,” said the county boss.

He hailed the church for producing leaders in various fields who have gone ahead to make significant contributions to the society. He said his administration will support infrastructural development in Ortum high and other schools across the county.

His deputy Robert Komolle lauded the Bishop and the church for its efforts to support and strengthen the education sector in the two counties.

“We are immensely proud of the Catholic Church for the work it has done to improve the sector,” said the deputy.

He further added that bursary kitty had played a role in increasing retention and transition rates in the county, which previously were dwindling.

Bishop Henry Juma of the Kitale Diocese who led the mass service, called on all stakeholders to partner in order to ensure that education is holistic and ultimately create an integrated human being able to make change in the society.

“Let us not just center our efforts on passing exams but inculcate values that create an environment for mutual respect and high academics,” reiterated the Bishop.

Ortum Boys High School Principal Mr. Murunga lauded the county government for bursaries, saying it had ensured students stayed in school and learning was not disrupted.

The school, with an enrollment of 1,089 students, is also one of the schools that received the highest allocation due to its population. He said that school which got a mean score of 6.2 in last year’s KCSE exams is targeting 7.5 and above.

“Thank you for setting the foundation of our school while you were principal between 2007-2012. This school stands because of your efforts and commitment,” noted the principal.

The celebrations were marked by performances by Ortum Boys with a traditional folk song, Bikeke Girls with a Taarab dance, St. Francis School for the Blind, Ortum Girls Primary, Bob Leo Children’s Home.

Women Rep Rael Aleutum, MCAs Long’iro Yusuf, Veronica Loriya, David Moiben, Francis Krop Loboo, Esther Serem among other officials joined the celebrations.

Stakeholders Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Khetias, HELB, ISUZU among others were also present.

World Catholic Education Day had not been celebrated in a couple of years owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.