County faces further teachers’ crisis
The Mandera County is facing another educational crisis after the 2014 mass exodus of teachers over insecurity.
The crisis comes three years after teachers from the region downed tools after 28 people travelling in a bus from Mandera to Nairobi were shot dead by suspected al-shabaab militiamen.
Victims of the raid were non locals, with teachers making a big percentage of the targeted group.
Following the carnage, the government pledged to boost security in Mandera County while the Teachers Service Commission transferred tutors who refused to return to the county.
The devolved government hired Form Four leavers to keep students in school.
Just last month, another tragedy befell the teaching fraternity in neighbouring Wajir County.
Two non-local teachers were killed alongside the wife of one of them, when terrorists raided Qarsa Primary School on February 16.
The attack sent shockwaves across the region since the school is in Wajir East Sub County which borders Mandera. Reports indicated the attackers fled to Mandera.
“Many teachers have left, citing insecurity,” County Deputy TSC Director, Ahmed Osman told KNA on Tuesday.
Mr. Osman said 63 teachers had left the county since February adding that more had applied for transfer.
“We are faced with a challenge that cannot be easily addressed because local teachers are few,” he said.
The official added that even the few locals available were 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,” he said.
He said Lafey, Mandera South and parts of Mandera East Sub Counties were the worst hit by the teacher exodus.
Osman added that 23 primary school teachers and 40 in secondary schools left the county in a month. Mandera East lost 21 teachers in its 15 secondary schools.
Osman said he was surprised at the rate non-local teachers were leaving more secure areas like Banisa, Rhamu and Takaba.
”Some parts of this county have never experienced terrorism. Teachers are never harassed and it is surprising that they were leaving,” he said.
According to him, teachers in insecure areas were receiving counseling before being transferred.
The Kiliwaheri MCA, Bashir Alio appealed to government to lower the entry grade to teacher training colleges for Mandera residents.
“To reduce teacher-shortage, the government should consider lowering the grade to at least C- or D,” he said. Alio said 25 teachers had left Banisa Sub County.
The MCA asked the government to invest heavily in the training of local teachers and security.
“The government has a responsibility of developing education in the region so that our learners are at par with the rest of the country,” he said.
By Dickson Githaiga