What you need to know:
- The union has already written a demand letter to the TSC demanding immediate action.
- CS Mohamed said the govt exploring ways to address concerns affecting learning in hostile areas
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) has on Saturday issued an ultimatum to their employer to transfer all non-local teachers working in North Eastern and other hostile areas by end of April.
The union has already written a demand letter to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), saying its an urgent issue that must be addressed with immediate effect.
“We as a union we have agreed that none of our teachers is going to risk their lives. We understand there is a hierarchy of needs and besides the basic human needs, security is paramount,” said Mr Chelanga, Kuppet's national tertiary secretary.
He said teachers cannot teach well in places where they feel insecure.
Addressing Kuppet members at Ol Kalou ACK Hall, Mr Chelanga said TSC should not wait until teachers are carried in coffins before they can take action.
“We want the TSC to move very fast to transfer teachers who are not locals from North Eastern Kenya. We are not begging. We cant do security experiments with teachers, they are not guinea pigs. Teachers are human beings and we must value them, and value the services they offer to the Kenyan child,” said Mr Chelanga.
North Eastern region has faced teaching crises since November 2014 when 28 travellers, the majority of them teachers, were killed by suspected Al-Shabaab terrorists.
In February, a similar attack happened in Wajir County where two non-local teachers were killed when attackers raided Qarsa Primary School.
According to Mandera TSC Deputy Director Ahmed Osman, by March more than 63 teachers had left the county with a long list of those who had applied for transfers.
“Even the few available locals are not willing to work in areas marked as insecure.We transferred at least 100 teachers from areas perceived to be dangerous but nobody is willing to replace them,” said the official in March.
However, the Education ministry has broken its silence on the transfer of teachers from North Eastern region and promised to find a permanent solution
Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on Saturday said the government is exploring ways to address the concerns affecting learning in those regions.
She was speaking in Nairobi after holding a meeting with leaders from the region.
The CS said there are 480 trainees spread across the country from the region who will soon graduate from teachers training colleges.
“The cohort will help ease the teacher shortage problem in the region when they graduate and apply for recruitment upon TSC advertisement of vacancies in the region,” she said.
Ms Mohamed further said the government is also seeking to address other concerns such as expansion of primary boarding to accommodate more students.
Led by the National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, local leaders urged the government and TSC to employ teachers to work in the region for a minimum of three years, before they can be considered for transfer.
The leaders are also pushed for a proposal to have teachers who leave the area before expiry of the three years lose their jobs.
The director for teacher management at TSC, Mrs Mary Rotich said that TSC had not moved any non-local teachers from Mandera but only moved them from rural areas in the region to urban areas.
“TSC affirmative action provided open employment for newly trained teachers from the region upon applying for recruitment by the TSC,” she said.
The Regional Coordinator for Education in the area, Mr Adan S. Abdulahi said teacher shortage stood at 4,727, with 3,311 in public Primary and 1,416 in public in public Secondary schools.