Education International
Education International

Kenya: Teachers to stay home following deadly terrorist attack

published 28 November 2014 updated 18 December 2014

Increasing violence has prompted the Kenya National Union of Teachers to urge its members to stop working after 22 teachers were killed in a bus attack.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), affiliated to Education International (EI), has condemned the shocking attack in the Mandera county that left 22 teachers dead early on 22 Nov. At least 28 people were executed by Al Shabaab militias after hijacking a Nairobi-bound bus.

“I call upon all teachers working in Northern Kenya and whose actual residence belongs to other counties to return to their respective counties, and await to be redeployed to other schools within their county of birth by the Teacher Service Commission (TSC),” said KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion.

He was particularly addressing all teachers working in unstable areas such as Kapedo, Turkana, Samburu, and northern parts of Kenya. Most schools had already closed for the December holidays.

“KNUT will not sit and watch the union lose all its teachers to bandits, militia, and other outlawed sects in the country,” Sossion added. “We want the TSC to act and protect the teachers it employs.”

Call for key resignations

The killings prompted the union to demand the disbandment of top security organs in the country. It also called for the immediate resignation of the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government, Joseph Ole Lenku, and of the Inspector General of Police, David Kimaiyo, for their failure to comply and act immediately on intelligence provided to them.

Among the 28 killed people were 19 men and nine women, of whom the majority came from Western parts of Kenya. Twenty-six bodies have already been identified by relatives.

EI: Safe schools a national priority

“We urge Kenyan authorities to ensure safety everywhere on the national territory and in schools in particular,” said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen. “Only in safe environments can qualified teachers deliver quality education for all students.”