Interior CS Kithure Kindiki has proposed ways in which the government, through the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), can ensure the safety of teachers working in Arid and Semi-Arid areas, such as the North Rift region.
Kindiki recommended that the Commission provide flight tickets to non-local teachers in these areas during school openings and closures.
This measure, he noted, would mitigate the risk of attacks by al-Shabaab terrorists, who often target teachers while they travel on the roads during these times.
“TSC should consider paying flight tickets for the teachers in Mandera County since road transport poses a greater risk. History has shown that teachers are attacked while traveling. The distance from Mandera to Nairobi is around 1,100km long and risky,” Kindiki said.
Kindiki suggested limiting the duration of service for non-local teachers in these regions. He highlighted that extended periods of placement adversely affect their mental well-being due to the ongoing threats.
“We recommend TSC not to keep non-local teachers that serve in the area for too long because it contributes to their mental stress and even the risk of them getting absorbed and being recruited into some of these networks,” Kindiki said.
The Interior CS appealed to teachers and security personnel in the North Rift to collaborate in sharing vital information about bandit activities, aiming to alleviate tensions between the two groups.
Moreover, Kindiki urged the Commission to reassign teachers strategically across the region.
He suggested placing local teachers in vulnerable areas and non-local teachers in comparatively safer regions.
He also emphasized the need for TSC to work closely with security agencies when deploying teachers to high-risk zones.
In a bid to encourage more locals from Northern Kenya to pursue teaching careers in their communities, Kindiki urged the Commission and governments at the national and county levels to offer comprehensive scholarships for teaching courses.
“To cultivate greater participation from the local populace, we recommend that National and County Governments collaborate in providing full scholarships for teaching programs. This will incentivize more individuals from the Northern Kenya region to embrace the teaching profession,” Kindiki concluded.