Form four leavers in Mandera are among those teaching after a significant number of teachers left the county due to insecurity issues.
According to county education board chair Issak Giro, at least 1,019 teachers who come from outside Mandera have left this year, as directed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
“We had 714 non-local teachers in primary schools and another 295 in secondary schools but they have all left.” Said Mr. Giro.
Mr. Giro said it is after the teachers left that they resolved in contracting form four leavers, interns, and retired teachers.
“We have allowed boards of management to hire Form Four leavers and other locals with teaching qualifications to contain the teachers’ shortage.” He added.
The county education board chairman stated that no public school is non-operational for lack of teachers.
Mr. Giro condemned TSC, arguing that it was unfair for the commission to sent teachers packing from the county on insecurity grounds without any formal communication to the county education board.
“TSC has transferred their teachers without any formal communication to that effect to the board.” Mr. Giro lamented.
Mr. Giro also added that they could not understand why TSC targeted public schools in the county by withdrawing teachers on insecurity grounds, yet other departments also have non-locals who were not transferred.
“We have a huge non-local population in different departments in Mandera, so we do not understand why the TSC chose to withdraw its staff.” He added.
However, parents have questioned the move of hiring retired teachers form four leavers and interns saying they doubt the quality of education they will offer.
According to Siad Nur, a parent, “Getting good results in national examinations is becoming a dream.”
Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) secretary for Mandera, Mr. Kullow Mohamed, on his part, urged local elected leaders to employ qualified teachers using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
“As a mitigation measure, I appeal to all our elected leaders to use emergency funds under the National Government Constituency Fund (NG-CDF) to employ at least 100 qualified teachers in every sub-county.” He said.
Mandera County has 282public primary and 52 public secondary schools.
According to Mandera County Commissioner Onesmus Kyatha, the security in the county has improved.
“We have a stable situation in the county today. It is unfortunate that teachers are leaving citing insecurity.” He said.
This is not the first time the county is suffering due to teachers’ shortage as a result of insecurity.
In 2015, after 28 passengers were massacred in a Nairobi-bound bus, teachers fled the county.