At least 804 non-local teachers have left Mandera over insecurity, throwing the county into yet another education crisis.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) began transferring non-local teachers from Mandera, following a terror attack in neighbouring Garissa County, which left three tutors dead.
Mandera has been enjoying the services of 1,009 non-local teachers posted to primary and secondary schools.
Mr Issak Giro, chairman of the Mandera County Education Board, admitted that they were facing a challenge.
“So far, 550 non-local teachers have left primary schools while 254 have left secondary schools,” he said, adding that the few remaining ones were on their way out.
The official noted, however, that no school in the county had been closed as a result of the exodus and that the teachers were only leaving after receiving their transfer letters from the TSC.
But he also said: “We hear that the TSC has transferred these teachers but we are yet to receive any formal communication to that effect."
Mr Giro said schools had been instructed to look for untrained teachers.
He said that despite the massive exodus, schools would continue running so parents should ensure their children report as expected.
“We are putting in place measures, including hiring untrained teachers, to ensure schools continue running. Boards of management have been authorised to ensure teaching goes on,” he said on Thursday.
Mandera County Commissioner Onesmus Kyatha said the county's security had improved.
“We have a stable security situation in Mandera today. It is surprising that teachers are leaving citing insecurity,” he said.
Mr Elyas Abdi, a director-general in charge of the technical wing at the Education ministry, said the national government was keen on ensuring continued learning.
“We are fully aware of the situation in the region and are determined to ensure no single school closes since it will result in a rise in vices in the society,” he said.
This is the second time Mandera is suffering a teachers shortage due to terror threats.
In 2015, teachers left the county in large numbers following the killing of 28 passengers in a Nairobi-bound bus in November 2014.
The county and local leaders engaged the services of untrained teachers.