Somaliland – Teacher exodus hurting students in the Somali region


Somalilandsun:Dozens of teachers are seeking to be transferred from the mainly Muslim north-eastern region of Kenya following the killing of three of their colleagues in February.

The attack was blamed on al-Shabab militant Islamists, who are active across the border in Somalia, and the fleeing teachers believe their colleagues were killed because they were not Muslim.

The exodus of teachers first started in 2015 after the deadly al-Shabab attack on Garissa University, but some had started trickling back.

However, since February the Teachers’ Service Commission has granted more than 50 requests for teachers posted here to leave the area.

Despite vocal protests from locals and community leaders the commission has declined to stop the transfers.
Almaro Sylvano, the head teacher at Wajir Girls Secondary School, says seven teachers have recently left her school and she believes the lack of teaching staff could exacerbate an already challenging environment for girls in the region:

In this part of the country, we have issues of early marriages. So, if a parent out there knows that there are no teachers in school, what happens? The next thing they will think about is to marry off their daughters.

At Wajir Boys High School, they are short of 16 teaching staff and the students there haven’t had a computer lesson in nearly three years although there is a fully equipped computer lab.
Mohammed Shukri, who is 18 years old, is worried about his performance in this year’s final exams as he wants to get into university.

He says he has been studying several subjects on his own after some of his teachers fled.
The people of Wajir say every Kenyan is welcome here, regardless of religion or ethnicity.

But unless the threat from al-Shabab diminishes significantly, teachers are unlikely to return.