Teachers protest over working conditions in Mandera
Over 200 teachers from northern Kenya the are up in arms over the working conditions in the area.
Nathaniel Kiplagat, a representative of the affected teachers, expressed concerns at a gathering outside the TSC headquarters.
“We have undergone a lot of intimidation. Some of us are so traumatized as we speak. We are not able to deliver our mandate as teachers under such conditions. We can’t go back to Mandera. Again. We have come here, but we’ve been denied entry and audience,” Kiplagat stated.
The teachers’ grievances stem from a previous wave of transfers initiated by the TSC’s delocalization policy, which aimed to distribute educators across the country to address staffing imbalances. The policy had faced criticism in the past for its perceived lack of consideration for the challenges faced by teachers in remote and sometimes volatile areas.
“We want to send a signal to our employer that we survived the worst in that land and are not willing to go back again. You can now kill us here if you want,” Kiplagat continued, his frustration evident. He addressed the gathering near the entrance of the TSC headquarters, emphasizing their determination to protest the transfers.
Amidst concerns about safety and well-being, Kiplagat stated, “The only thing that we’re scared of right now is death. You can only kill us here. We’re going to stay here. And we’re demanding transfers.” The teachers argued that their transfers were justified due to the dangerous circumstances they had faced, which led them to seek alternative placements.
In January 2023, over 14,000 teachers were transferred to various regions as part of the TSC’s ongoing efforts to implement regional and inter-regional transfers, which were authorized by the Commission’s head, Nancy Macharia. These transfers aimed to balance staffing levels and optimize educational resources across the country.
Northern Kenya has in the recent past been affected by security concerns, with cattle rustling and terror attacks posted a marked increase.