In Summary
  • The education sector in northeastern region has been affected by mass exodus of non-local teachers following attacks on colleagues by suspected terrorists.
  • Ministry of Education had directed Teachers Service Commission to allow students from affected counties to join teacher training colleges with lower grades.
  • But the Attorney-General has warned the ministry that the TSC is an independent body.

Wajir County leaders have faulted Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki’s advisory barring Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Amina Mohamed from lowering college entry level grades for students in teacher training schools.

In an interview with the Nation, the leaders said the move is big blow to the region that is still struggling with low literacy rates and acute teacher shortage.

Earlier this year, a mass exodus of teachers was witnessed in Wajir County after a suspected Al-Shabaab attack in Qarsa that left two non-local teachers dead.

The education sector in region depends largely on non-local teachers and was almost crippled after the Teachers Service Commission transferred more than 900 tutors over security issues.

Following the acute teacher shortage, local leaders and the Education ministry mulled several policy actions among them lowering entry grades to teacher training colleges for students from the northeastern region.

But the Attorney-General has waded in, warning the Education CS that she has no authority to dictate to the Teachers Service Commission how to conduct its mandate of reviewing the standards of education and training of persons entering the teaching service.

“The current constitutional and statutory framework is clearly a departure from the past. The Constitution itself clothes the commission in the garb of independence by declaring that the commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority,” said Mr Kariuki.

Wajir Senator Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali said Mr Kariuki’s interpretation and the stance taken by TSC is unfortunate and highly uncalled for.

“We will not be used as an employment bureau for other Kenyans who later leave us suffering in the event of unfortunate incidents of insecurity. We will fight to the end to make sure we are not disenfranchised,” Mr Ibrahim said.

Wajir North MP Ahmed Abdisalan termed the move as insensitive, biased and unacceptable. Mr Abdisalam said it is unfortunate that Mr Kariuki is unaware of the unique challenges the education sector in the northern Kenya.

“The decision by the Attorney-General to bar lowering of teachers’ college entry grades will make it impossible for us to realise the dream of having enough teachers. This time round, we will not accept such acts of marginalisation,” he said.

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