Mandera Teachers Training College is now bustling with activity as it inaugurates its first group of students pursuing diplomas in primary teacher education.
The college, under the guidance of Principal Issack Maalim Adow, has successfully admitted 254 trainees in just two days, highlighting the high demand for this specialised course in the region.
"We are delighted to have admitted 254 students in the last two days, marking our progress towards accommodating admitting 500 trainees for this term," shared Principal Adow.
He went on to encourage others to consider joining the institution, emphasizing that many of the newly admitted students are individuals who completed their secondary education in 2016.
Adow added: "Teaching is a noble profession, and we warmly welcome those who couldn't secure university placements after graduating from secondary school in 2016 to join us."
This significant milestone comes at a crucial time when a considerable number of teachers from other parts of the country have left Mandera over insecurity.
Area Governor Mohamed Kalif said: "Mandera County has made substantial investments in the college's infrastructure and teacher education. With a move to modern facilities and the admission of 254 teacher trainees in just two days, we anticipate total admissions exceeding 400 very soon."
In addition to donating assorted food supplies to the institution, Governor Kalif pledged to pay 50 per cent of the college fees for all students, emphasizing his commitment to address the teacher shortage crisis in the area and the need to empower local educators.
"In this financial year, we will cover 50 per cent of college fees, with additional funding secured from NG-CDF, Ngaaf, and ward bursary allocations," Governor Kalif assured.
According to the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Mandera County requires more than 2,000 teachers to bridge the gap in 300 public primary schools and 550 public secondary schools. Governor Kalif's ambitious goal is to train over 1,500 local teachers within the next three years.
"Moreover, we aim to train more than 1,500 local teachers in the next three years. This initiative represents significant progress in addressing our persistent teacher shortage and ensuring a brighter educational future for our county," declared the optimistic governor.
Mandera faced a significant setback in 2016 when a mass exodus of teachers occurred due to insecurity, severely affecting the education sector. Recently, hundreds of teachers from Mandera have been camped outside the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) offices in Nairobi, seeking transfers to their home counties.
Expressing his relief, Kalif appealed to the TSC to minimize the posting of non-resident teachers to Mandera in light of the continuous requests for transfers by educators in the region.