An education crisis is once again brewing in Kenya as hundreds of non-local teachers demand transfers from the Muslim-majority region in the country’s northeast following a series of deadly attacks by al-Shabab militants. Schools reopened on August 28, but most students have not been able to resume learning activities.
At an elementary school in Wajir District, Kenya, teacher Ibrahim Hassan gets to work. He had volunteered to teach after most of the teachers left the school due to recent attacks in the region by the militant group al-Shabab.
He said the school was forced to turn away some of its students. “Because there are many students and few teachers, we cannot teach them all. “So sometimes we send some students home,” he said.
Since 2014, more than 4,000 teachers have left schools from the northeastern region of Kenya due to unsafe conditions.
Al-Shabab has killed 16 people in the region in the past two months, including two non-local teachers, and injured dozens more.
Many schools near the border with Somalia have been hit hard by the exodus and are on the verge of closure.
Over the past week, hundreds of teachers have camped outside the offices of the Teachers’ Service Commission, in Nairobi, asking to be transferred from the area.
“We vowed to work in every part of the country, but we cannot work in a place where death awaits us,” said Monica Chepng’eno, a teacher. (lt/ab)