Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua announced Wednesday that teachers who resorted to desert duty over insecurity will not be victimized.
Amid the push and pull between the Teachers Service Commission and the Kenya National Union of Teachers Union (KNUT) over the interdiction of instructors who fled their workstations in North Eastern Kenya citing their safety, the DP, disclosed that the government stopped the sacking of teachers, noting that their concerns were justified.
“You cannot punish people who are running away to save their lives,” said Gachagua who was attending the KNUT annual National Delegates Conference at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.
The affected non-local teachers had sought transfers from regions they had been posted to.
At the same time, the Deputy President sought to assure teachers of their safety in all parts of the country, including in areas facing security challenges. The DP noted that adequate security measures have been put in place to ensure teachers go on with their work in every part of Kenya without fear for their lives.
“We have taken enough measures to ensure that the teachers are secure and there is enough security for them. A lot of work is going on in those regions to make sure that teachers and everybody and the rest of the country are secure,” said the Deputy President.
“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,” added the DP
In areas mapped out as conflict-prone, the country’s second in command said the government is undertaking a disarmament exercise to rid these areas of criminals.
“We also understand the value of education in sustainably addressing banditry and other forms of security threats, as we progressively move communities from past retrogressive practices.” He said
The DP was representing President William Ruto at the event attended by over 2,000 delegates drawn from the 47 counties.
He paid tribute to teachers for their patriotism and also commended them for their savings culture through cooperative societies to harness income for their future financial stability.
The Deputy President further said that the government plans to bridge the teachers’ deficit by hiring at least 116,000 teachers to cover the gap. This year, the government has hired over 56,000 teachers.
He said they are working with the Teachers Service Commission to gradually convert the teachers on contract to permanent and pensionable, saying financial constraints had delayed its implementation.
“This is because we appreciate the fact that achieving the recommended ratio reduces the burden on teachers, directly improving quality,” he stated.
KNUT Secretary-General Collins Oyuu said the teachers’ union will continue supporting the Kenya Kwanza administration, citing achievements so far made in streamlining the education sector and improving teachers’ welfare.
“Education matters have been streamlined courtesy of the Kenya Kwanza administration. Learners’ capitation has been improved, and employment of teachers of a record 56,000 teachers, no Administration has ever hired such a high number in one year. The Presidential working party was well-selected by the President. We were confident of the work and streamlining take off of the CBC,” said Mr Oyuu.