Non-local teachers petition MPs on transfers from North Eastern


Mr Charles Achol, a teacher at Lafey Primary School in Mandera County, gesticulates angrily during protests held by a group of teachers from northeastern region at the TSC head office in Nairobi late last month.  

Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

Non-local teachers in the North Eastern region are now seeking the intervention of the National Assembly after the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) demanded an explanation for failing to resume duty at their stations.

The primary and secondary school teachers working in Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties are in Nairobi for the third week as they seek transfers from the region citing insecurity.

TSC had earlier written to them indicating that it would be impossible to transfer them due to lack of suitable replacements. It further directed them to report back to their workstations by September 7.

“Your request for transfer out of North Eastern region is acknowledged by TSC. However, due to lack of a suitable replacement, your request is hereby regretted. You are therefore directed to report to your workstation by Thursday the 7th of September, 2023 failure to which disciplinary action shall be preferred against you,” TSC wrote.

The teachers who had camped at the TSC headquarters for the past two weeks were dispersed by police officers.

“The non-local teachers teaching in the counties of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa are as of now insecure. The security of the region is so pathetic. This is caused by frequent Al-Shabaab attacks that happened on July 14, 2023, at Wargadud police station claiming the life of one teacher,” said the teachers in a letter to the National Assembly’s Education committee.

They said the improvised explosive devices being planted on the roads have claimed the lives of several police officers and paralysed transport since June. They further said that before the Wargadud attack, they had raised concerns with education and security stakeholders but they were threatened.

“We were told it was incitement and a way of seeking transfers. Some of the non-local teachers are forced to pay the National Police Reservists to offer security during the night and when in the classroom,” they said in the letter.

The teachers told the committee chaired by Julius Melly that non-local teachers have made several attempts to get transferred out of the region but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

They added that they fear that TSC will remove them from the payroll and interdict them.

“Non-local teachers are therefore requesting your office to jump in and help us to get out of the region. No teacher is ready to die in the ruthless hands of the Al-Shabaab. Furthermore, the teachers are ready to get back to their jobs only in the safer regions,” they said.

Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary-General Collins Oyuu has promised to intervene and is expected to hold a meeting with TSC this week.

“We are not worried about the show cause letters. We want to handle this matter one-on-one with TSC. It is the duty of the TSC to write show cause letters, they are on duty let them perform their duty. We shall also perform our duty in trying to arrest the issue of this show cause letters,” said the union leader.

He said that the government should come up with a strategy for employing local teachers from the North Eastern region.

“North Eastern has never been peaceful at all and nobody should cheat us that the region at one moment will be peaceful. Let us come up with a strategy for employing locals in North Eastern. When your life is threatened you cannot perform when you are a corpse in the classroom,” said Mr Oyuu.

He said security threats are real in the region and the state should not take chances with the lives of Kenyans.