There was drama at the Garissa TSC offices on Monday afternoon when Ijara MP, Sophia Abdinoor stormed and locked them up.
The visibly agitated MP whose arrival caught the staff unawares demanded to know whether the office had a solution to the current teachers’ crisis occasioned by the mass transfers of non-local teachers from the county.
Efforts by the Garissa Sub County TSC Director, Hussein Abdullahi Abdi to calm down the irate legislator did not help matters as she insisted that it is the teachers’ employer that was the genesis of the current crisis.
Sophia then ordered all the staff out of the offices and proceeded to lock them up with new padlocks that she had carried with her to the disbelief of the staff.
The MP whose video recently went viral on social media addressing students of Haji Girls School in which she called non-local teachers who had fled her constituency names, said she stood by her statement and she was not apologetic.
Addressing the press Sophia said that it was unfortunate that most teachers come in the region pretending to be looking for employment to serve the people but ‘ at the back of their mind were using the opportunity to get jobs and flee at the slightest opportunity’.
“I have a problem with 15 teachers that we employed after we pleaded with TSC to employ them on a permanent basis and who had signed a five-year contract. After seven months they are running away, saying that our area is insecure. Most of them have businesses and families in Masalani,” Sophia said.
“They are doing this with the blessing of TSC. These conmen and criminals don’t deserve to be called teachers. They should be ashamed,” she added.
She termed as unfortunate the move by TSC to issue transfers to non-local teachers from the region, citing insecurity, saying the issue had been blown out of proportion.
“I am a very angry leader and mother seeing the suffering that our young children are being subjected to by the teachers. This is just inhuman and unacceptable,” she said.
Sophia said in her constituency alone at least 85 teachers, both from primary and secondary schools have already left crippling the education sector.
“Some schools have been left with one or two teachers. In many cases the pupils are more than 400. Surely how do you expect such schools to run. They will definitely be closed down,” she said.
Sofia said that as leaders they had come up with an affirmative action that saw several local candidates with C- and D+ join teacher-training colleges.
She said a memo on the same was approved by the cabinet only for TSC to go to court and revoke the same.
“We had even volunteered as members of parliament to pay for their school fees through the CDF kitty with the hope it will have addressed the shortage of teachers once and for all. Now see what is happening. It’s the same TSC who are now withdrawing teachers,” she said.
She urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to personally intervene and save the situation which she described as a disaster in waiting.
By Jacob Songok