By James Ngunjiri
Wajir County Government has decided to train 500 new teachers following refusal by non-locals to resume work owing to insecurity in northeastern Kenya.
“We have a crisis which we need to address urgently. Learning must continue and that is why we may have to train new teachers,” governor Ahmed Abdullahi told the county assembly last week.
“We want to sponsor interested secondary school leavers from this county who meet the minimum entry requirements to join teacher training colleges,” he said.
He noted that the crisis is hurting education in the county adding that measures to remedy the situation must be devised quickly.
“I am been on record asking the national government to consider transferring management of schools to county governments. I feel this in the best way we can address some of these challenges,” said Mr Abdullahi.
Over 1,000 teachers working in Wajir, Mandera and Garissa counties refused to resume when schools reopened citing insecurity.
This was after 28 teachers in a Nairobi-bound bus were forced out and executed in cold blood by Al Shabaab militiamen in Mandera in December last year. Soon after, the militants ambushed and killed over 30 quarry workers.
The teachers have been demanding transfers to other areas, pleas the government has rejected.
And last week, Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi maintained that the government will not transfer the teachers.
“If your are so traumatised by the killings of your colleagues, the government is ready to offer you counselling,” Prof Kaimenyi told the teachers who have been camping at the Teachers Service Commission headquarters in Nairobi.
Mr Abdullahi said his government has in the meantime engaged stakeholders to decide on immediate interventions.
“We are considering recruiting teachers on temporary basis to reduce the suffering as we await a permanent solution,” he said.
He urged the MCAs to support the plan arguing it was the only way to get out of the problem.