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Leaders call for ‘affirmative action’ to resolve teachers crisis

Leaders from North Eastern have petitioned the Government to consider ‘affirmative action’ as a long term solution to the impending staffing imbalance precipitated by teachers who have declined to return to work in the region over insecurity.

Speaking at a meeting with the Parliamentary Committee on Education at Parliament Buildings yesterday, senators, members of National Assembly, religious leaders, parents from Wajir, Mandera and Garissa counties, expressed concern that the ongoing standoff between the 2,000 teachers seeking transfers from the region and Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will not be resolved soon.

TSC Secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni, disclosed that fresh teacher recruitment for the region would be concluded by end of this month. The chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Education Sabina Chege said the leaders complained that the Kenya National Union of Teachers had poisoned the relations between the local communities and the teachers hence, would prefer locals to take over the teaching.

“There was concern that the plight of children had been ignored by the union. But it was agreed that the teachers who have been seen on television, would not be allowed back. What is not in doubt is that the protesting teachers, their employer (TSC) and the ministry, have not formally met to discuss the matter. They only engage one another through the media,” Ms Chege said.

Mr Lengoiboni said, “This is a serious exercise because we want the children to resume classes immediately. They (committee) wanted a status update and we explained that to them.”

It, however, emerged that sacking of the more than 2,000 teachers would not be an easy task as the disciplinary process is long and winding. (See related stories on page 10 and 11)