• He said state security agencies are aware of the threats delocalised teachers face in their work stations.
• Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary general Collins Oyuu said the union has confidence in the government to provide adequate security in those regions.
Teachers working in areas prone to post-election violence and terror attacks should not be worried as the government has strengthened security, Knut has assured.
Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary general Collins Oyuu said the union has confidence in the government to provide adequate security in those regions.
Delocalised teachers, primarily those working in regions prone to election violence and terror attacks, Oyuu said, should not panic even as campaigns begin to fire-up and as Western countries warn of the likelihood of terror attacks.
He said state security agencies are aware of the threats delocalised teachers face in their work stations.
Oyuu said no teacher should leave such regions without receiving an official transfer letter from the Teachers Service Commission.
“If the transfer is deemed punitive to any teacher, we shall simply say can we correct this as TSC and Knut talk about it and then they get rerouted to places they deem safe because we do not want to lose the life of even a single teacher.”
Oyuu was speaking on Saturday in Akapiyan village, Teso North during the burial of Kefina Mateger, 87, the mother of TSC commissioner Nicodemus Anyang’.
Among areas teachers have in recent years have expressed laxity to be transferred to include Wajir, Mandera, Garissa and Lamu.
Others are West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet and Laikipia.
On January 16, schools in Lamu had not reopened due to terror-related insecurity.
At least six schools, including Juhudi, Kibaoni Shalom Academy, Holy Angels Academy, Mikinduni and Salama primary schools reopened on January 17 after Coast regional commissioner John Elung’ata directed that they be reopened.
Elung’ata said the government had deployed enough security officers in the region.
The institutions had been closed following attacks between January 2 and 9, that left 15 people dead.
In Elgeyo Marakwet, two pupils in early January were shot by suspected bandits as they walked to school in an attack that sent shivers across the teaching fraternity.
Local leaders led by Marakwet East MP Kangogo Bowen called for enhancement of security in the area.
Another four people were shot dead and six others injured in the Kerio Valley following a bandit attack that local authorities said may have targeted schools.
In January 2020, three non-local teachers were killed in a suspected al Shabaab attack in Kamuthe, Garissa county.
APPEAL TO POLITICIANS
Oyuu cautioned politicians against fanning violence, which he said erodes gains made in the education sector.
He said Kenya cannot afford to descend into another period of chaos as witnessed during the 2007, 2013 and 2017 general elections.
“We all know that Kenya is getting into an electioneering period. The hottest period is between today and August. What are we hearing of the politicians? The politicians must be careful with what they say. Recently we heard some politician saying in Eldoret that madoadoa should be done away with. What are you telling our teachers who are delocalised?” Oyuu posed.
“Our appeal as Knut is that we want peaceful campaigns and a peaceful electioneering period that shall not have any other person, let alone teachers bruised in any way. So the politicians must be very careful about what they say. The issues of madoadoa should be discarded straight away.”
He said all Kenyans, including teachers, have the constitutional right to participate in politics and no one should be victimised because of their political inclination.
He, however, said that Knut will not coerce teachers to support particular candidates in the August polls.
“The issue of propagating violence is not healthy for a nation like Kenya. We don’t like it and as teachers we want to say that we are free to join any political outfit that we so wish because it is our democratic right,” Oyuu said.
“But as Knut we shall not stand and say can all teachers take this direction. Let the teachers be free to join any other political divide.”
Oyuu was accompanied by Omuse Olakacuna, the Knut Teso branch executive secretary.
Edited by A.N