Lamu teachers on strike over rising insecurity
A week over since the teachers’ strike that paralyzed learning in all public schools was called off, teachers from Basuba area of Lamu County have not yet resumed duty over what they term as rising insecurity.
The teachers, who are members of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers Education (KUPPET), stayed away from their work stations claiming that the levels of insecurity have gone up despite the government assuring the residents of better security.
Some parents have been forced to transfer their children from the school saying they felt uncomfortable to let their children continue schooling in the area.
Basuba Member of the County Assembly (MCA) Mohammed Delo has challenged the national government through the Ministry of Interior to beef up security in the area so that learning can resume without further delays.
In June, Lamu residents called on the government to provide armed guards to all teachers and schools following a series of terror attacks and attempted attacks.
Candidates from Bargoni Primary School in Hindi area have expressed fears over the possibilities of them failing to sit the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) after teachers failed to return to the school.
The school’s head teacher Mohamed Ahmed said that more than five teachers refused to return to work over insecurity, a matter that has impacted negatively on the school’s position to assist and prepare the pupils for the national exam.
Ahmed added that education standards have significantly dropped in the county since most schools are understaffed and lack capacity to provide quality education as teachers and parents have either fled or withdrawn their children from schools out of fear.
Parents have blamed the government for its inadequacy to protect them and appealed to the Ministry of Education, the county government and well-wishers to join hands and help bring back sanity to the education sector.
The high rates of insecurity have been attributed to suspected cases of Al Shabaab attacks. Two months ago, 15 suspected Al Shabaab militants were killed after a botched assault on a military barracks in Baure.
In June this year, the High Court in Malindi suspended a dusk to dawn curfew imposed by the Inspector General of Police in Lamu, pending hearing of a petition filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) challenging it.
High Court Judge Said Chitembwe, in his ruling, termed the extension of the curfew as unlawful and contrary to the spirit and intent of the law.
The dusk to dawn curfew was imposed on June 20, 2014 by the then Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo after the deadly Mpeketoni attacks.