The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has promised to deploy more teachers to Mandera County to replace those who left following terror attacks.
Speaking during a forum bringing together education stakeholders in the county, the TSC Director for Administration Ibrahim Mumin said that soon, the wide gap in teaching staff will be filled.
“TSC is aware of the situation in Mandera and we are making every effort to ensure that staffing is stable. We want to replace teachers whom we lost through natural attrition and those that were transferred,” he said.
Mr Mumin revealed that the gap will be filled by employing locals who recently graduated from different teacher training colleges.
“We are aware of quite a number of local teachers who graduated with degrees, diplomas and P1 certificates who are ready to serve in Mandera and we shall be employing them soon,” he said.
According to Mr Mumin, TSC is committed to taking addressing the staffing deficiency that Mandera is facing.
According to the local TSC office, the county has a shortage of 1,397 teachers both in primary and secondary schools.
There are 283 primary and 50 secondary schools in Mandera County.
“We need a total of 1,142 teachers in our primary schools and another 255 in secondary schools so that we can compete fairly with other schools across the country,” said County TSC Director Yussuf Abdi Abdullahi.
Mr Abdullahi said schools situated along the porous Kenya-Somalia border are the hardest hit due to insecurity posed by Al-Shabaab militants based in the neighbouring country.
“Kutulo, Lafey and Arabia are the most affected areas because they are on the borderline and getting teachers posted there is a challenge,” he said.
He said some schools in these areas have not been able to attract teachers over the past one year.
“We had to move all non-local teachers from these areas as directed by government but getting replacements has been a nightmare,” he said.
Mr Mumin challenged local schools to ensure teachers are protected in order to improve the academic standards of Mandera County.
“To retain teachers in our schools, we must protect them. We have to give them the support they need while working locally,” he said.
Mandera suffered a major blow in 2015 when non-local teachers quit en mass due to insecurity.
At least 28 non-locals, most of them teachers, were killed in cold blood by suspected Al-Shabaab militants who ambushed a bus headed to Nairobi in November 2014.
Mr Mumin said the commission will give priority to teachers engaged by boards of management in different schools when the hiring starts.