NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20 – The Teachers Service Commission has condemned recent killings in Wajir by militia group Al Shabaab that claimed the lives of three teachers.
Speaking when she appeared before the National Assembly’s Committee on Education Tuesday, TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia said the incident was unfortunate and gave assurances that the commission was looking into the matter in a bid to safeguard teachers’ security.
“What happened in Wajir was sad and it should not happen to any teacher in the country. I have arranged a series of meeting with County Education Directors to establish how the security of teachers can be safeguarded,” said Macharia.
Suspected Al Shabaab militia on Friday morning killed three non-native teachers during an attack in Qarsa, Wajir County.
The killings have elicited mixed reactions with the Kenya National Union of teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (KUPPET) threatening to withdraw their services from the Northern Eastern parts of Kenya where non-native teachers face hostility and frequent attacks.
Macharia however appeared non-committal to the idea of transferring non local teachers from the insecurity prone areas saying it could hinder equitable distribution of teachers.
“Transferring teachers to different places will not be the lasting solution towards the hostility teachers’ face in some part of the country. Equally, transferring teachers would interfere with the commission’s ongoing process of equitably distributing teachers across the country,” said Macharia.
Macharia also defended the move to transfer school teacher heads saying that it was done in a bid to delocalize the teaching fraternity and deliver quality education.
She said that the transfers were done within the commission mandate and the issue should not be politicized.
“Transfers happen everywhere but for some strange reasons it’s only in the teaching profession where the issue of transfers is politicized something which should change, TSC is mandated in moving teachers across the country based on the needs,” said Macharia.
To improve the education quality in the country, Macharia asked the Julius Melly (Tinderet) led committee to facilitate the commission with adequate budgetary allocation that will go a long way in employing more teachers in the country.
She asked members to support policies that will increase financial allocations which would in turn contribute in the hiring of more teachers in the country to improve the student teacher ratio.
“There is no budget for the recruitment and promotion of teachers, leaving the commission’s hands tied. We want to increase the number of teachers,” she said.