7 January 2014

Kenya: Garissa Teachers Dare Nathif to Sack Them

The war of words between Garissa Governor Nathif Jama and headteachers in the county went a notch higher after teachers dared him to make good his threat to sack them.

They said the threat is like "the barking of a toothless dog". The teachers, led by Garissa Knut executive secretary Ibrahim Atosh vowed not to participate in plans initiated by Nathif to find a long-term solution to the poor performance reflected in last year's KCPE results.

They demanded that the governor first withdraws a statement in which he proposed that more than 400 head teachers, whose schools recorded a mean score below 280 marks be replaced in a new restructuring programme. The teachers were addressing the press at a Garissa hotel yesterday following a day-long meeting called by Knut to discuss the governor's threat.

"If any teacher is targeted for transfer, we will hold the governor responsible. Politics should be separated from education matters," Atosh said. "Education is a collective effort encompassing every member of the community and it is wrong for the governor to make teachers bear the greatest brunt for the dismal performance."

Knut threatened to "cripple" education if the governor maintains his stand to restructure county public schools. On Saturday, Jama said he will not apologise for calling for the sacking of non-performing headteachers. He said they should be the ones to apologise for skipping an education stakeholders forum he had called. The governor said his administration has constituted a six-member task force to review education.

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