Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Mandera branch has called on the national government to improve security in the county for normal learning in schools to be ensured.
While addressing teachers in Mandera after his re-election into office, Mandera County Knut Secretary Mohamed Kulo said it remains the national government’s responsibility to ensure every citizen is secure.
“The national government has to ensure security improves in Mandera so that teachers can continue discharging their responsibility uninterrupted,” he said.
He accused the State of deliberately denying the county the service of teachers through what he called unreasonable transfers.
“The government has answers and solutions to every issue but refusing to improve security in Mandera and later transferring teachers from our schools does not mean well for us,” he said.
According to Mr Kulo, the government, through the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), has to find a way of getting teachers into schools in Mandera.
Mandera needs 1,849 teachers to fill the gap in 294 public primary schools and another 517 for public secondary schools.
Mr Kulo, who was re-elected unopposed, said lack of teachers in Mandera has led to a crisis in the education sector.
At least 122 public primary schools have only one teacher each while four public secondary schools are facing a similar situation. This is according to the local education office.
Insecurity has caused teacher shortages in Mandera since 2014 after a bus heading to Nairobi was hijacked by suspected Al-Shabaab militants.
During the attack, 28 people were killed, majority being teachers who were going for December holidays.
The government has since then been transferring non-local teachers from the county, leaving many schools without tutors.
On students’ indiscipline, Mr Kulo called on parents to fully play their role of ensuring their children are having good manners.
“Our teachers have no weapons to protect themselves and parents have to take full responsibility. They should have God fearing children; parents should give us disciplined children,” he said.
He urged the government to devise a proper disciplining mechanism in schools to curb cases of bad behaviour among students.
“Government should not just re-introduce caning but a serious caning because our teachers are being harassed by students,” he said.
He pledged to deliver on the union’s mandate to all teachers without fear or favour.
“I promise not to cause any rift among teachers in Mandera based on their clan, tribe or place of origin. I will be a leader for all across the county,” Mr Kulo said