Teachers Demand Transfers Over Insecurity, Camp Outside TSC Headquarters

In a powerful display of concern for their safety, hundreds of teachers hailing from the North Eastern region of Kenya staged a protest outside the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) headquarters in Nairobi. The teachers, originating from Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa counties, are demanding transfers from the region due to heightened insecurity concerns.

Faced with the daunting reality of requiring army escort for their daily activities, the teachers have taken a resolute stand for their safety. They articulated that they are unwilling to continue their duties in a manner that feels akin to being transported as contraband. Even under armed protection, their buses are often followed by armed forces, exposing them to danger. Demanding a transfer out of the region, the educators unequivocally stated their stance, with one teacher affirming, “We are now saying No to Mandera.”

The teachers emphasize that their appeal for transfers has been met with silence from TSC officials. While they were allowed into the TSC headquarters on Monday, their concerns were allegedly met with repeated promises that didn’t yield results. Feeling unheard and concerned for their safety, the teachers returned to the headquarters on Tuesday, where they were denied entry into the offices, prompting them to set up camp within the compound.

The teachers’ plight follows recent calls from Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, who urged TSC to consider posting non-local teachers in the insecure Northern counties for shorter durations, followed by reshuffling. Kindiki highlighted the psychological toll of insecurity on non-local teachers and suggested that locals sometimes contribute to inciting insecurity. He advocated for engaging local communities to foster acceptance of non-local teachers and proposed pooling teachers in one area temporarily to safeguard them from threats posed by groups like al-Shabaab.

In an alarming context, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) reveals that Mandera County alone requires more than 2,000 teachers to address the education gap in the region. The ongoing challenges have led to a mass exodus of teachers, particularly non-locals, impacting the region’s educational landscape.

This protest by teachers stands as a stark reminder of the complex challenges faced by educators working in regions affected by insecurity. As the educators advocate for their safety and well-being, their united front amplifies the importance of providing a conducive environment for teachers to deliver quality education, unhindered by security concerns.


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