The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) on Wednesday asked the government to provide military training for teachers and arm them with guns before posting them to north-eastern and Coast regions.
Secretary-General Akelo Misori condemned the killing of teachers by suspected Al-Shabaab militants and asked the Interior ministry to take the teachers’ security issue seriously.
“Unarmed teachers are soft targets for terrorists as demonstrated in the Kamuthe attacks where they killed three teachers,” said Mr Misori.
“Each institution in northern Kenya must be well secured by armed police officers; it is time the government trained teachers on combat and armed them with guns,” said Mr Misori.
Most attacks take place at night when police officers have left schools, he said.
“Survivors say that when police officers are informed, they say they will wait until dawn to counter the attackers,” said Mr Misori.
Kuppet also called on the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to review staffing in northern Kenya and deploy local teachers to the region.
Mr Misori has written to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i asking that the government deploys two police officers to each school in the region to provide security.
“Trained teachers enlisted in the disciplined forces should be redeployed to schools in the region. Such teachers should maintain their ranks in the forces and be armed,” wrote Mr Misori.
He asked Dr Matiang’i to station KDF personnel in the region. Kuppet National Secretary for Secondary Schools Edward Obwocha urged the TSC to stop de-localising teachers from north-eastern and instead post more to their home counties.
He said that senior teachers from the region working in other areas should be redeployed to head schools in the five counties.
Kuppet chairman Omboko Milemba urged the TSC to reduce the number of years teachers stay in terrorism-prone areas from five to two.
“When they stay for long in those regions they become more prone to attacks; security must be taken seriously,” he said. Yesterday, more than 150 teachers camped at the TSC offices seeking to be transferred from north-eastern.
One of the teachers, Mr Patrick Kipruto of Bura Secondary School in Garissa County, said they have sleepless nights. “We have to be on the watchout, we do not know when the attackers will come,” said Mr Kipruto.