GARISSA—The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (KUPPET) have come out to strongly condemn the killing of teachers by Al Shabaab in North Eastern Kenya.
In a statement, KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion said non-local teachers residing in North Eastern, North Rift and some parts of Lamu and Tana River have become soft targets for terrorists.
He called on the government to establish a special unit of police to guard teachers and learners as it is happening with diplomats, tourists and VIPs.
“Teachers and learners continue to suffer at the hands of marauding terrorists and cattle rustlers. For over 20 years now, terrorists and bandits have been on sprawl, causing deaths, maiming teachers and learners, and causing destruction to properties, including kidnappings.” said Sossion.
The KNUT secretary noted that persistent insecurity in these regions have left a trail of killings of teachers, destruction of properties, closure of schools and non-local teachers fleeing and is a clear indication that there is urgent need for reforms in the management of education in the areas.
KNUT has also called upon the Government and Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to make it a policy that local communities have teachers from indigenous groups.
KUPPET Secretary General Akelo Misori while addressing the media in Nairobi on Sunday asked the TSC to withdraw the teachers until the region is safe.
“The Ministry of Interior must ensure it provides adequate security to teachers and students in the North Eastern region. If they do not take immediate action, then we will order all affected members to leave their stations immediately,” Misori noted.
He directed the government to compensate the affected teachers and their families and demanded the Interior ministry to offer an explanation on the recent attacks.
“The government must come up with more sustainable security measures for our schools particularly in Northern Kenya. It should also compensate the affected teachers and their families,” he stated.
Misori urged the newly appointed education cabinet secretary Amina Mohammed to collaborate with the interior ministry and look into the welfare of teachers and students in Northern Kenya.
This remarks come after two teachers were killed in a dawn attack by suspected Al-Shabaab militants at Qarsa Primary School in Wajir County on Friday 16 this month.
The murder of the two who were non-locals has led to mass exodus of non-local teachers who now fear for their lives.
This is not the first time teachers leave schools in North Eastern region. In 2015, an attack by Al Shabaab on a Mandera bus left several people dead and made many teachers flee.
More than 2000 teachers camped at the TSC and KNUT headquarters after demanding transfers from Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties.