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Wajir to redeploy county staff amid schools crisis

Wednesday February 12 2020

El Adow Primary School in Wajir

A classroom at a primary school in Wajir South. Several schools in Wajir County now face closure after TSC transferred non-local teachers from the region following attacks by Al-Shabaab militants. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

BRUHAN MAKONG
By BRUHAN MAKONG
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Wajir County plans to redeploy all staff with a teaching background from other departments to schools in a bid to address a shortage after non-local teachers fled the region.

The devolved unit hopes to place the county staff in various schools across the county once they are identified.

A memo signed by County Secretary Abdullahi Hassan Maalim directed all department chief officers and chief executive officers of the County Public Service Board, Wajir Municipality and Wajir Water and Sewerage Company (Wajwasco) to submit data on staff with an education background to his office.

"You are urgently required to submit data on those with an educational background as per the indicated template," the memo read in part.

The departmental heads were also ordered to clearly state the name of the staff member, their education background, former employer and their current station.

After the onset of devolution, the few teachers who were working in several schools in the county were absorbed into the local government, dealing a blow to the already struggling education sector.

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Mr Maalim hopes this move will help identify these teachers whom he reckons will help seal the huge gap that has been left by a mass exodus of teachers.

Other measures the county is resorting to include employing untrained teachers, sponsoring training for those willing to teach and a call to volunteers to step in as a temporary solution as they await a way forward from the Ministry of Education.

Last week, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) transferred all non-local teachers from the county for safety reasons following a recent terrorist attack in Garissa that left three teachers dead.

In Wajir alone, at least 869 non-local teachers had left the county by last Friday.

According to a report from the County Education Board, a total of 324 out of 587 secondary school teachers operating in the county had left while 545 out of 1,208 primary school tutors had also exited.

As a result, at least 80 schools risk closure due to the shortage.

The TSC move has elicited mixed reactions from leaders and residents in the region as at least 60 per cent of teachers operating in Wajir County came from other parts of the country.

Leaders said the move was unfair and an attempt to further marginalise the region which has over 80 per cent illiteracy rate.

Just recently, Garissa Governor Ali Bunow Korane said he would sue TSC over the matter.

Teachers operating in the Northern region have been a soft target for the Somalia-based ragtag militias that have taken advantage of the vast porous border with Kenya to stage attacks on Kenyan soil.

The frequent attacks have had a negative effect on overall performance of students in national examinations with over 3,000 learners from the region scoring grade E and Y.