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Raila champions affirmative action for teacher trainees from north east counties

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga with Building Bridges Initiative steering committee Chairperson Yusuf Haji during a public forum in Garissa on Sunday, February 23/RAO Press

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has called for a quick solution to the ongoing education crisis in Northern Eastern Kenya, where teachers have withdrawn over insecurity incidents.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) last month transferred more than 3,000 non-local teachers from Wajir, Mandera and Garissa counties following terror attacks targeting tutors.

Odinga, who was speaking during the Building Bridges Initiative rally in Garissa on Sunday, called for urgent measures in a bid to end the current education crisis in the region.

“It is painful for children to go to classrooms where there are no teachers. We must find a solution to this,” the former premier said.

The mass exodus of teachers came after militants attacked the Kamuthe Resource Centre and killed three male teachers on January 13.

“We must bring teachers and also declare an affirmative action so that we can have more local teachers working here,” Odinga said.

The matter has also caught the attention of the National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale who wants the TSC and Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha to be summoned before Parliament to explain measures put in place to mediate the crisis.

The legislator noted that most national government programmes including the ongoing roll out of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) and 100 percent secondary school transitions have stalled as a result of the actions by TSC to withdraw teachers on security grounds.

“TSC Act doesn’t allow it to divide its workforce across the country along tribal, ethnic and religious line as it has happened in the mass transfers of teachers in NEP,” Duale said.

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“The Constitution of Kenya, in Article 53 (1)(b) state that every child has a right to free and compulsory basic education and Article 55 (a) the State shall take measures, including affirmative action programmes, to ensure that the youth access relevant education and training.”

The recent withdrawal of non-local teachers is not new to the region where terror attacks are frequent, with Kenyans from other parts of the country being the main target.

In 2018, there was a similar mass walkout of teachers from the region due to insecurity.

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