NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 16 – Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has dismissed a proposal top issue teachers in the north eastern part of the country with guns to protect themselves from Al Shabaab militants amid a rise in cases of attacks targeting the teaching fraternity in the region.
Speaking in Parliament on Thursday KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion said teachers are models of peace and cannot be put in a situation where pupils fear them for carrying firearms while on duty.
“The role of a teacher in a classroom is to bring happiness to the learners, to deliver learning and generate joy. In line with sustainable development agenda, we must graduate children who are thinking of peace in all our institutions and not violence,” Sossion said.
“We cannot do that by introducing guns. Anybody recommending that is either insane or ignorant and I do not think that is the direction we should go.”
The proposal was made by the rival Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) after dozens of teachers trooped to the Teacher Service Commission (TSC) in Nairobi, demanding to be transferred outside the region fearing for the lives.
KUPPET’s pronouncement the killing of 3 teachers in Garissa County, who are the latest victims of terrorism, in a worrying trend in the troubled Northern Kenya region that border Somalia.
Sossion further called on TSC to ensure teachers are employed in their local areas insisting that it is the only way to address insecurity especially targeted attacks against non-local teachers by terror elements in the north eastern region.
“TSC and the Ministry of Education whether they like it or not should now come to terms with the fact that every community must have their own teachers created from their own graduates. We cannot keep saying that if we remove non-local teachers from northern region, we are being discriminatory. It is a painful surgery, but we have to undergo it,” he indicted.
Sossion’s remarks come a day after KUPPET Chairperson Omboko Milemba proposed a raft of measures to TSC which included the provision of guns to teachers.
The union had asked the government to deploy at least two police officers in each public school in the region to provide security to the teacher in the region.
“Trained teachers who are currently enlisted in the disciplined forces, in particular the police services and KDF, should be redeployed to schools,” Milemba said.