The teachers' employer has said it will not rescind its decision to transfer non-local teachers from North Eastern region.
Appearing before Parliament's Education committee yesterday, Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia (pictured) said it was necessary to protect teachers from terror threats.
Non-local teachers have been victims of attacks from Al Shabaab terrorists in North Eastern Kenya.
Ms Macharia said whereas she understood the teacher’s crisis in the region following the mass transfers, she would not stand on the way of teachers who wanted to leave.
“I know North Eastern pupils have a right to education and I want them treated like any other Kenyan children. However, teachers' right to life is sacrosanct,” said Macharia.
She said the same transfer orders had been given to the commission by the Labour Relations court.
The court, Macharia said, had ruled that the right to life overrides all other constitutional rights.
TSC has now urged leaders from the region to help fix the security problem locally.
It has also asked the leaders to help identify local secondary school graduates who can be enrolled in teachers' training colleges to help bridge the teachers’ deficit there.
Earlier, Cabinet Secretary for Education George Magoha revealed that there were 24,058 students from the region who had scored grade C plain since 2015.
Prof Magoha added that last year alone 4,039 candidates from the three counties of Garissa, Wajir and Mandera scored grade C plain.
The C plain grade is the minimum for those seeking entry to teachers' colleges.
“If we can identify these students, and I am sure the region's political leaders can help us do that, we can have them recruited as teachers,” said Magoha.
Due to the crisis, Macharia said, the commission was willing to employ Form Four leavers as untrained teachers, and have them undergo training during holidays.
However, Magoha and Macharia declined a request by some MPs from the region to have the entry requirement for teachers' colleges lowered to D plus.
“We are ready, even this afternoon, to have these school leavers employed on permanent and pensionable terms. They will start as untrained teachers," said Macharia.
Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai said the threats to teachers and other non-locals living in the North Eastern region was real.
He, however, said his office was mobilising more police for deployment to the area. Mr Mutyambai said it was unfortunate that in some cases local teachers and pupils knew of impending attacks, but hid the information from non-locals.
“There was a case where all local teachers and students did not turn up to school and so the attack was suffered by non-locals," he said.
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