• TSC says communities should provide the first line of security to people serving them.
• Commission has recruited and posted new teachers to the regions.
The Teachers Service Commission is banking on the support of Northern Kenya communities to ensure employees posted there are safe.
The commission will also engage other stakeholders to ensure learning is not disrupted for thousands of children because the lives of teachers are threatened.
Non-local teachers working in Mandera, Garissa and Wajir counties have been the targets of attack by al Shabaab militia with several killed and others injured.
Three teachers were killed in a suspected Shabaab attack in Kamuthe in Garissa, in a pre-dawn attack on January 13.
The attack led to the transfer of 2,340 non-local teachers from the county.
The situation was so bad that TSC boss Nancy Macharia on February 26 said they would not post teachers to Northeastern if the insecurity situation was not fixed.
Macharia told Parliament that the right to life superseded the right to education and called on the government to improve security.
But in its audit report of the first year of the 2019-23 strategic plan, the commission seems to have softened its stance.
“TSC will enhance collaboration with local communities and government agencies to address insecurity in certain parts of the country,” the report signed by chairperson Lydia Nzomo reads.
Members of Parliament from Northeastern failed to agree with ministry officials on how to remedy the withdrawal of the teachers.
The situation caused a learning crisis with students attending classes with no teachers to teach them.
The MPs protested that the mass transfer of teachers was inconsiderate, impulsive and discriminatory.
They also demanded to have locals enrolled in teacher training colleges with lower entry requirements and then posted to local schools following the staff crunch.
But TSC said it could not compromise the quality of education but will ensure the right standards are put in place to avoid disruption of learning.
“The teachers are serving them and communities should work with them for their children to be educated,” commission communications head Beatrice Wababu said Tuesday.
The commission said the communities should provide the first line of security to people serving them and other Kenyans.
“The killings are only targeting teachers and not other professionals such as doctors and nurses. It shows clearly that some locals might be involved,” she said.
The commission said it will encourage residents from the region to join the teaching profession.
"We will talk with the communities so that those people who get C+ are encouraged to join teaching," TSC said.
In the year under review, TSC hired 13,993 teachers. Some 1,364 were posted to Wajir, Garissa, and Mandera to enhance equity. Another 5,906 teachers were promoted to various grades.
(edited by o. owino)