TO BE ARMED WITH GUNS OR NOT?

Sossion counters Misori, says only 'firearm' teachers need is chalk

In Summary

• Kenya National Union of Teachers that wants non-local, Christian teachers be exempted from teaching in the North.

Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion at Parliament Buildings on Thursday, January 16, 2020.
Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion at Parliament Buildings on Thursday, January 16, 2020.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion has accused the Ministry of Education leadership of failing to convene a stakeholders' meeting to find a lasting solution to insecurity in Northeastern.

On Thursday, he said no action has been taken since 2015, when the terrorists first attacked nonlocal teachers.

Sossion also criticised Kuppet for asking the government to arm nonlocal teachers.

"The only solution to northern Kenya, like it or not, even if the government is in denial, is for them to create their own teachers from the community," he said.

"Teachers are frightened and have panicked. Hundreds of teachers have vacated the area. Many of them have notified the union. They are at the TSC headquarters seeking transfer."

Kuppet had recommended that teachers be armed.

However, Sossion said, "Nowhere in the world are teachers armed. Never. The moment an individual walks to the classrom with a gun, that is an affront to teaching. The only firearm for a teacher is a piece of chalk. We cannot be a country of guns, we must be a country of peace, free of guns."

He added, "As a nation, let's be sensitive with the statements that we make. Anyone asking for asking of teachers is either ignorant or insane."

Al Shabaab militants on Monday killed three non-local teachers in an attack in Kamuthe, Garissa county. Local teachers were spared during the attack.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers says non-local, Christian teachers should be exempted from working in Northeastern. The union says the teachers should be replaced by colleagues who are members of the local Somali community.

But Kuppet says such a move will be discriminatory and against the Constitution.

Kuppet secretary-general Akello Misori on Wednesday condemned the killing of teachers and asked that they be armed.

"Let teachers be trained on how to handle guns so that they can defend themselves when they are in danger," Misori said.