The Leader of the Majority in the Kenya's National Assembly Aden Duale has warned teachers from three counties in Northern Kenya that they risk losing their jobs if they fail to report back to work without delay. Speaking in the company of leaders from the region including Mandera County Governor Ali Roba, Senator Billow Kerrow (Mandera) and other Members of Parliament, Duale said he would sanction the government to sack teachers who will not have reported to work by next week.
“If teachers will not report by Monday next week, the same process that was used to hire the teachers through the BOGs for the secondary schools and through the County or District Education Boards for the primary schools, that process must be initiated; the children from the north under the Constitution must be taught by Kenyan teachers,” Duale – who is the Garissa Town Member of Parliament said.
The over 1,000 teachers who have refused to report to their respective schools had last week pitched camp at the Teachers Service Commission offices demanding that their employer either transfers or issues them with interdiction letters due to insecurity in the region. The teachers expressed fear following the killing of their colleagues in the Mandera bus massacre in which 28 people were butchered by suspected Al Shabaab militants. They teachers also claim that they are discriminated against and harassed by the locals.
Duale also expressed concerns over remarks by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion directing teachers from other regions who had already reported to work to leave Northern Kenya, saying this was discriminatory and propagating hate speech.
“We are very much disturbed by the utterances of the KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion in as far as inciting Teachers and creating division among Kenyans. If it is about terror, terror has happened not only in North Eastern… it has happened in the heart of Nairobi, Mpeketoni, Kapedo, even in the height of Shifta war in 1963. What Sossion is calling for has never happened; you cannot preach hate speech and you cannot deny the children of Kenya the right to education,” said Duale.
His sentiments were reiterated by Mandera Governor Roba who took issue with the fact that the teachers had never reported their claims to them, saying they have even held education conferences but none have raised any concerns.
“What is being shared right now is just an excuse to justify the mass transfer demand. Misrepresenting information with the intent of trying to mislead the country into justifying a demand by teachers is extremely an unfortunate position particularly if it is given by somebody who is calling himself a leader like Sossion,” said Roba.
The leaders said 1,500 hundred teachers who are non-Muslims are already teaching in private schools while the others absconded duty, running into the fourth week.
There are 567 teachers from Mandera, 260 from Wajir and 94 from Garissa.