Wajir County is staring at yet another education crisis after the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) began transferring all non-local teachers from the region following a recent terrorist attack in Garissa which left three tutors dead.
According to an education official, at least 200 teachers had left by Tuesday.
The teachers are said to have begun leaving last week and the last group is expected to leave by the end of the week.
This comes just a day after TSC transferred all the non-local teachers from the neighbouring Garissa County.
On Monday, hundreds of teachers from the northern region pitched camp at the TSC headquarters in Nairobi demanding audience with the commission's CEO Nancy Macharia. Their pleas bore fruit as they were issued with transfer letters.
Addressing journalists on Wednesday, Wajir County Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary Noor Mohammed Bardad said that schools in all the six sub-counties have been affected by the transfers.
A spot check by the Nation on Tuesday revealed that all the buses travelling to Nairobi were full as teachers left the county.
Mr Bardad said that TSC had earlier transferred teachers from schools along the Kenyan-Somalia border to schools within Wajir but later decided to transfer them out of the county.
SAFE AREAS AFFECTED
Earlier, teachers in schools within Tarbaj, an area around Wajir East and Wajir West, were targeted by the transfers but by Tuesday, all the other sub-counties perceived to be safer were also affected.
"We are shocked that even teachers operating in the three sub-counties of Eldas, Wajir North and Wajir West have left even though these areas have never had any incidents of terror," said Mr Bardad.
He termed the move unfortunate, saying the schools risk closure as there are no immediate replacements for the transferred teachers.
He called on leaders from the county and schools to urgently hold meetings to discuss how to get a permanent solution to the problem.
“I am appealing to politicians to take responsibility and go to the ground and see how much of a problem these issue are and come up with solutions," he said.
He accused the TSC of using the region as a recruitment ground for teachers, saying the commission has been employing 900 teachers every year and later transferring them to other parts of the country.
"This is the third consecutive year that the TSC is doing this," he said.
The Knut official accused the government of failing in its mandate of providing security and education to all, saying that schoolchildren now risk being radicalised.
He said the county has continued to post a dismal performance in national examination results in the last few years due to insecurity. He said that most students have only been studying for one term.
Wajir County has suffered the brunt of Al-Shabaab attacks in the past, negatively affecting education.
On Tuesday, leaders from north eastern Kenya and other stakeholders convened a meeting to discuss the education and security crisis in the region.
They appealed to the TSC to rescind its decision to transfer teachers from the region and asked the government to ensure adequate security for all the residents.
In 2018, there was a mass exodus of teachers after Al-Shabaab militants attacked Qarsa Primary School in Wajir East killing three people including two teachers.
The attack almost brought the education sector in the county to its knees after several schools were closed for lack of teachers.
Schools in Garissa and Mandera counties have also been affected by the latest transfers.