Kenya: Mandera Turns to Form Four Leavers After Teachers Leave

14 February 2020

Form Four leavers are among those teaching at schools in Mandera County following the departure of more than 1,000 teachers over insecurity.

County education board chair Issak Giro said on Friday that at least 1,019 non-local teachers 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," he said.

SCHOOLS OPEN

Mr Giro said they therefore contracted Form Four leavers, retired teachers and interns.

"We have managed to deal with the teachers' shortage by allowing boards of management to hire Form Four leavers and other locals with teaching qualifications," he said.

Mr Giro noted that no public school has been closed due to lack of teachers.

Mandera has 282 public primary and 51 public secondary schools.

QUESTIONS

The education board chairman accused the TSC of unfairly targeting public schools in Mandera by withdrawing teachers on insecurity grounds.

"We have a huge non-local population in different departments in this county so we do not understand how the TSC chose to withdraw its staff," he said, noting the need to educate children.

The move to hire the Form Four leavers, retired teachers and interns has left parents questioning of education.

"The situation is questionable and getting better results in national examinations is becoming a dream," said Mr Siad Nur, a parent.

EMERGENCY

Mr Kullow Mohamed, Kenya National Union of Teachers' Secretary for Mandera, called on local elected leaders to hire qualified teachers using the Constituency Development Fund.

"As a mitigation measure, I appeal to all our elected leaders to use emergency funds under the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) to employ at least 100 qualified teachers in every sub-county," Mr Mohamed said.

The official warned that schools were on the verge of closure.

"We need mitigation measures as we continue looking for a permanent home-grown solution," he said.

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