The government Wednesday ruled out lowering entry points for teacher training colleges to D+ from C in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education as a solution to the teacher crisis in the northeastern region.
Appearing before the National Assembly's Education Committee, Education CS George Magoha and Teachers Service Commission CEO Nancy Macharia warned that such a move would compromise the quality of education.
The two also defended the decision to transfer 2,340 non-local teachers from the region, saying their safety was important and is guaranteed in the Constitution. They urged local leaders to play a role in protecting them.
For now, Prof Magoha said, leaders from Garissa, Mandera and Wajir counties should support the government's efforts to have about 24,000 students who scored C between 2015 and 2019 join teacher training colleges so that they can replace non-locals who are fleeing due to terrorist attacks.
He said the government would provide funds for Form Four leavers to join Mandera TTC and Garissa University.
Dr Macharia said affirmative action should not be about lowering entry grades and that quality is important.
She said efforts to recruit teachers from the region had been hampered by lack of interest in teaching among those already trained.
"We have 152 registered teachers from the region who are unemployed and we are calling upon MPs and other elected leaders to help us mobilise those who are aged 65 years but retired so that they can teach," she said.
Elsewhere, the Employment and Labour Relations Court has issued a temporary order barring the transfer of teachers from Wajir, Mandera and Garissa.
In a ruling issued on Tuesday, Justice Hellen Wasilwa also directed Dr Macharia and the Attorney-General to file their responses within seven days.
Through lawyer Hussein Yarrow, the court heard that TSC had transferred non-local teachers, a move he described as discriminatory and unconstitutional.
Mr Yarrow said TSC moved about 1,300 teachers from Garissa and 1,600 from both Wajir and Mandera.
TSC should have considered the best interests of the children before moving the teachers, he said. He added that the transfers had affected areas that have not experienced attacks.
The case will mentioned on March 12.