The government on Wednesday assured teachers who had fled from the North Eastern region over rising terrorist attacks that they would not be sacked after initially indicating it would jettison the teachers for absconding duty.
While addressing the Kenya National Union of Teachers Union (KNUT) delegates in Kasarani, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who was representing Ruto at the event stated the government has reconsidered the decision following extensive consultations.
“You cannot punish people who are running away to save their lives,” the Deputy President noted.
The Deputy President further assured the teachers of their safety indicating that Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki had been notified of the urgency of the matter.
“We are undertaking a disarmament exercise to rid these areas of criminals. We also understand the value of education in sustainably addressing security threats, as we progressively move communities from past retrogressive practices,” Gachagua remarked.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua Consumers International Global Congress in Nairobi on December 6, 2023
“The National Police Service and all our security agencies are doing whatever needs to be done so that our teachers and the rest of Kenyans are secure.”
Gachagua further noted that security in areas such as the North Rift which are prone to banditry were on the government’s radar and that the State would not relent until peace is restored.
On the employment of more teachers, Gachagua said that the government plans to bridge the teachers’ deficit by hiring at least 116,000 teachers.
“This year, the government has hired over 56,000 teachers,” the DP noted.
Gachagua said the government was working with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to gradually convert the teachers on contract to permanent and pensionable terms, regretting that the transition had been delayed by financial constraints.
“This is because we appreciate the fact that achieving the recommended ratio reduces the burden on teachers, directly improving quality,” the Deputy President noted.
In October, a section of teachers working in North Eastern demanded to be equipped with weapons and taken through paramilitary training to enable them defend themselves.
Teachers at a past Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Conference in April 2022.