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No School for North Eastern Children

Legion communities accused of discriminating against non-local teachers.

TSC says it will only repost them once their security is guaranteed.

The lobbies are fighting the mass transfers on grounds that this will infringe on the region’s children’s right to education.

As the simmering animosity between teachers posted in the northern parts of the country and their host communities comes to a head with constant terror attacks, learners are bearing the brunt of the standoff.

Education has been hit hard ever since non-local teachers fled the region following repeated attacks by armed men believed to be militants from the Al-Shabaab terrorist group.

The local leadership has been piling pressure on the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to facilitate their immediate return but the teachers’ employer is reluctant to agree without adequate guarantees of its workers’ safety.

A court case seeking the withdrawal of teachers over security concerns and two others seeking orders compelling the tutors to return to the region have further complicated matters.

There is an order issued by the Employment and Labour Relations Court on October 8, 2018 restraining the TSC from posting teachers to North Eastern until the application is heard and determined.

The order was issued following an application by the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), which had requested that the TSC be compelled to move non-local teachers to safer regions.

“The terror group has systematically attacked non-locals, sometimes with full knowledge of the local communities,” said KHRC in court papers, adding that non-local teachers are discriminated against on grounds of religion and cultural background.

The Attorney-General had argued that the matter raises substantial questions of law and that Chief Justice David Maraga should be requested to appoint a three-judge bench to hear and determine the case.

One of the constitutional questions to be determined is whether the court has jurisdiction to interfere in administrative functions of the TSC.

Employment court Judge Hellen Wasilwa declined to grant the AG’s request, saying that, if allowed, it would further delay the case.

Another application is pending before the High Court filed by Haki Na Sheria Initiative, Pastrolist Girls Initiative, Womankind Kenya, Arid Lands Development Focus (Kenya), Wajir South Development Association, Napad and Racid.

The lobbies are fighting the mass transfers on grounds that this will infringe on the region’s children’s right to education.

Last month, a petitioner, Mr Hussein Kussow Yarrow, filed yet another application against TSC and its chief executive officer, Nancy Macharia, protesting against the mass transfer of non-local teachers from  Garissa, Mandera and Wajir, arguing that it violates their constitutional right to education.

A total of 2,340 non-local teachers were transferred following a pre-dawn attack in Kamuthe in Garissa County in January, in which three tutors died.

The TSC has filed a preliminary objection against Mr Kussow’s application, arguing that it raises issues already in the other cases and should be dismissed.

The Al-Shabaab attack on a Nairobi-bound bus outside Mandera Town in November 2014, which killed 28 people, mostly teachers who were travelling home for Christmas, kicked off the exodus.

In January 2015, some 1,400 non-local teachers camped at the TSC headquarters in Nairobi, demanding transfers. 

The cases, and others yet to be filed relating to the education crisis in North Eastern, are going to be litigated in an environment where the employer has vowed to protect its workers. 

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Laura C.S

Hello! My name is Laura Songok, I am a passionate writer at breakingnews.co.ke. I have been in this industry for two years. In my copious free time, I enjoy swimming and exploring. Most seriously, my friends describe me as easy going.
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