KDF steps in amid Wajir schools crisis

Wednesday March 18 2020

A classroom at a primary school in Wajir County. KDF officers have stepped in to teach in some schools. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


As the Northern region struggles to fill the gap that has been left by a mass exit of teachers, it has emerged that some officers from the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) have stepped in to teach in some schools in Wajir County.

According to an education official, Konton and Qarsa Primary schools are beneficiaries of the new arrangement. Both schools have a population of between 200 and 300 pupils each.

The Nation, however, cannot reveal the exact number of KDF officers operating in schools for security purposes.

Konton Primary School, which had a total of 350 pupils, was remaining with only the headteacher after non-local teachers left but it has received a boost after several officers stepped in.

Qarsa Primary School, on the other hand, had only two teachers.

Initially, the school had a total of three tutors but one was forced to abandon his duties after he suffered severe leg injuries when armed gunmen waylaid a passenger bus in Khorof Kharar area on January 24.

One other traveller was also injured in the incident.


Wajir County Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) secretary Noor Bardad told the Nation that the presence of KDF officers, who were deployed recently, had also enhanced security in an area that is prone to terror attacks.

“I want to thank our KDF officers who are currently helping teach our children in Qarsa and Konton schools and also providing security which has given a conducive environment for children to learn,” he said.

On why those schools had a few teachers despite a high population of learners, Mr Bardad said that no non-local tutor was posted in any school that was more than nine kilometres from the town due to security fears.

This move, he said, was a result of an attack at Qarsa Primary School which left two tutors and one of their spouses dead in 2018.

Reports from the county education board indicate that at least 80 schools are staring at closure for lack of teachers.

Out of these, 10 schools have been left without a single teacher while 72 have remained with headteachers only.