The Wajir County government will revive the Wajir Teachers Training College in a bid to train locals fill the gap left by the recent mass exit of tutors, Governor Mohamed Abdi has said.
Speaking during an education consultative forum in Wajir town, Mr Abdi stated that the institution will play a key role in solving the teacher crisis that has affected the county for the last five years in the wake of increased terrorist attacks in the northern region.
The forum, which brought together county government staff, education stakeholders and members of the Wajir County Assembly, aimed at identifying home-grown solutions to the teachers’ crisis.
According to Mr Abdi, at least 2,300 teachers have left the county over the last five years following frequent attacks by Al-Shabaab militants. He said it is time to explore home-grown solutions to end the crises.
The governor also said his administration will review the current bursaries policy and allocate over 70 per cent of the money to those pursuing diplomas and degrees in education to encourage more students to pursue a career in teaching.
“My administration will do everything possible to ensure that within the next five years we have adequate teachers in both primary and secondary schools. We shall develop strategies to give priority to education in our bursary and other resources together with other leaders,” said the governor.
He called on other Wajir leaders to support the move, terming it necessary in solving the current crisis.
Mr Abdi further directed an ad hoc committee on education to mobilise and register all the students who have already finished secondary school education and are willing to join teaching colleges and universities saying they will get support from the county in their quest to pursue education.
The governor said that the recent transfer of teachers by the Teachers Service Commission has left thousands of children with no tutors, insisting that the move was an infringement of their constitutional right to quality education.
According to the county education department, at least 80 schools risk closure due to lack of teachers.
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
The county boss urged those with a teaching background to volunteer and take up some lessons in schools as a short term solution as the county finds ways to permanently solve the problem.
At least 127 county staff with a teaching background have already been identified.
“I direct the county department of education to establish a desk to co-ordinate this voluntary exercise while not destabilising the service delivery in the county,” said the governor.
Kenya National Union of Teachers Wajir County Secretary Noor Bardad said there is need for the national assembly to change the law to allow schools in marginalised areas to absorb untrained teachers.