School-going children along the borders of Wajir County are staring at a bleak future after non-local teachers began fleeing from schools on Friday after an attack suspected to have been executed by Al-Shabaab militants at Qarsa Primary School in which three people, including two teachers, died.
Addressing journalists in Wajir Town the county Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) secretary Noor Bardad confirmed the mass exodus of teachers naming Khorof Harar Secondary school and primary, Wajir Bor, Riba, Sarman, Kutulo and Tarbaj among the schools that have been hard hit by the exit of the teachers.
15 SCHOOLS AFFECTED
Fifteen primary schools are reported to have been affected by the exit of the non-local teachers who comprise over 60 percent of the staff in Wajir County.
The exit of teachers from the schools in the last three days seems to replicate the 2015 incident where many teachers left various schools in the north eastern region after an attack on a Mandera bus that left several people dead, most of them non-local teachers.
Mr Bardad further threatened to withdraw the teachers from terror-prone areas if leaders fail to come up with mechanisms that will guarantee security for the tutors.
“We as the union will ensure that we withdraw the teachers from those stations if the leaders fail to address the safety of the teachers particularly Khorof Kharar and Kutulo education zones. We will not allow teachers to die like that anymore,” he said.
He added that teachers serving in such areas have sacrificed a lot in order to provide education to learners.
Some of them are working in areas which lack telephone network coverage yet their efforts continue being taken for granted, he added.
Leaders in Wajir County have promised to work together in a bid to flush out Al-Shabaab militants who have continued to unleash terror among the residents.
Speaking to journalists after a security meeting with the community and the leaders on Saturday, Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi said they will not relent in their fight against terror, adding that the main aim of the militant group is to disrupt education in order to woo students to join terrorist groups.
“The main aim of this group (Al-Shabaab) is to ensure that our children don’t get education and end up joining them hence compromising their future,” said the governor.
The governor called on the residents to be at the forefront in the fight against terrorism.
“If the citizens resolve not to allow any criminal activities from taking place in the areas they reside, then that will be the beginning of victory against this menace,” said Mr Abdi.
Wajir East MP Rashid Kassim who was also present at the meeting said that the community has resolved to bring back their children who are engaging in terrorism activities.
The exit of teachers is likely to deal a huge blow to the education sector in the county which has continued to record poor performance in national examinations in the past years.