The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji has added his voice among the leaders calling on locals in the North Eastern region to take up the teaching profession in order to bridge the huge gap that currently exists.
According to the DPP who himself hailed from Garissa, as long as the local community shied away from the profession, the region will continue experiencing teacher shortage.
Speaking in Garissa during the launch of Young Muslim Girls High School, Haji urged parents to encourage their children to take up teaching as a career saying the region’s progress was suffering as a result of inadequate teachers.
“As I stand here today I want to encourage parents to try and encourage our children to take up this noble career after form four 4. We have a very big problem in this region as far as teachers are concerned and the solution lies with us,” Haji said.
“Unfortunately the majority of us here want to take up courses in procurement, nursing and many others because they think teaching is not a good course compared to others but to the contrary this is the best profession in the world,” he added.
The DPP gave a recent incident where the leaders from Northeastern held a meeting with officials from Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to discuss on the teachers’ shortage bedeviling the region but were taken a back after they were told that even if they were to be given special allowances there were still no local students who want to be teachers.
The issue of teacher shortage in the region has become a thorn in the flesh of both parents, students, leaders and education stakeholders, something that has ended up affecting results especially in national examinations.
The situation started being experienced in 2014 after al shabaab militants started attacking non local teachers forcing them to flee the region.
TSC was then forced to withdraw the non-local teachers from the region to other parts of the country a move that was widely condemned by the local leadership who not only said it glorified terrorism but also amounted to denying the children their basic right to education.
Most notable attacks are the bus attack in Mandera in 2014 where some 28 teachers were killed, the Garissa university attack where 48 students were killed and the Kamuthe attack where 6 teachers were killed.
According to records from TSC, Mandera is faced with a shortage of 1,849 and 517 teachers in primary and secondary schools respectively.
In Wajir the shortage in primary school stands at 1,414 and secondary 51 teachers while in Garissa county the shortage is 913 in primary schools and 651 for secondary schools.
By Erick Kyalo