TSC CEO Nancy Macharia Explains Northeastern Teacher Interdiction Circumstances

During her recent appearance before the Senate Committee on Education, Nancy Macharia, the CEO of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), clarified the circumstances leading to the interdiction affecting teachers in Northeastern Kenya who sought transfers due to insecurity. Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei’s inquiry prompted this discussion, seeking clarification on the drastic action.

Starting with a specific incident on July 14, 2023, at Wargadud Police Station in Wargadud Town, Mandera County, where Al-Shabaab militia attacked a non-local teacher at Al-Irshad Integrated School, Macharia’s narrative unfolded. On August 28th of the same year, following this event, 223 teachers, representing 6.9% of all non-locals in their region, approached the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to request transfers due to prevailing insecurity concerns.

Upon investigation, the TSC found the Wargadud incident to be an isolated case. Most teachers reported no specific insecurity issues in Garissa and Wajir counties. In response, the TSC collaborated with county directors and security agencies to transfer affected teachers to more secure areas within their respective counties.

Despite efforts, 129 teachers maintained their refusal to return to work stations. The County Director in Mandera responded by transferring 18 teachers to safer areas. Later, seven out of the initially non-compliant 129 educators reported back for duty.

Emphasizing the interdiction as a response to the majority resuming duty, Macharia highlighted the potential disruption of teaching and learning in the region if all 129 had been transferred. She pointed out the isolated nature of the attack in Wargadud, confined to the specific town in Elwak Zone.

Macharia further noted that the affected teachers had worked under the Board of Management for several years without raising security concerns. Insecurity issues only emerged upon their transition to permanent and pensionable employment under the TSC.

Expressing concern about the lack of documented meetings between the TSC and affected teachers, Senator Cherargei received assurance from Macharia. She pledged to submit minutes from the twice-conducted sessions with teachers.

Raising questions about the TSC’s handling of the matter, Cherargei emphasized the gravity accompanying even a single teacher’s loss. He urged the commission to contemplate alternative solutions with an emphasis on urgency and necessity. He also requested clarity and direction for the interdicted teachers—a definitive way forward into their professional lives.

As the Senate awaits additional documentation and deliberates on the issue, the interdiction of Northeastern teachers remains a complex and sensitive matter. A balanced approach is necessary to address concerns from both educators and students in the region.


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