The Kenya National Civil Society Centre (KNCSC) is has urged the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to reconsider its decision to interdict 129 teachers who had requested transfers from the North Eastern region of Kenya.
In a statement released on Sunday, Suba Churchill, the Executive Director of KNCSC, urged the TSC to adopt an alternative approach.
Instead of interdicting these teachers, Churchill proposed that the TSC collaborates with the Ministries of Education and Interior to formulate specific policies and security measures tailored to the North Eastern region.
These measures should be designed to instill confidence among the teachers, enabling them to perform their duties in a secure and reassuring atmosphere.
The lobby group emphasized that teachers have the right to perform their duties in an environment that is safe and conducive.
Describing the interdiction as both heartless and insensitive, Churchill pointed out that the TSC’s actions are in violation of the teachers’ rights as Kenyan citizens.
According to the lobby, these actions undermine their constitutional right to security, as outlined in Article 29 of the Kenyan Constitution.
“They (teachers) need to perform their duties and deliver on their respective mandates in an atmosphere that is secure, enabling and reassuring,” the statement reads.
Churchill further argued that the decision to dismiss these teachers was ill-advised, especially considering that both the national government and the TSC are well aware of the security challenges teachers face while working in the North Eastern region.
Dismissing them for raising concerns about the safety of their working environment amounts to both direct and indirect discrimination by the State based on their ethnic and social origin.
The Executive Director of KNCSC stressed that the TSC should not exploit teachers by sending them to areas perceived as unsafe and neglecting their welfare.
The interdiction of these teachers has stirred a nationwide debate, with several politicians advocating for the TSC to reverse its decision. Notably, Tinderet MP Julius Melly, who also chairs the National Assembly of Education Committee, has called for the reinstatement of these teachers.
Last week, the affected teachers took to the streets in Upperhill to protest the TSC’s decision. They rejected the interdiction and their subsequent posting to different schools in North Eastern. However, the protest was met with tear gas and a heavy police presence, leading to the arrest of ten teachers. TSC interpreted the teachers’ refusal to report to their newly assigned schools as open defiance, which ultimately resulted in their interdiction.