Kenya’s Mandera risk recording KCSE failures due to lack of teachers

Mandera County risks recording a low number of students who will join universities after the March Kenya Certificate Secondary Education (KCSE) exams.

County Director of Education Adan Roble has said this, further revealing that at least four private secondary schools have been closed due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The acute shortage of teachers in Mandera will affect the outcome of the national examinations and I am worried that we will send very few students to universities this time round,” said Mr Roble.

At least 178 students in the 57 secondary schools in Mandera scored a C+ (plus) grade and above in the 2019 KCSE exam, managing to join institutions of higher learning.

“We are not going to get a good number of students scoring C+ and above in this year’s examinations because of the pitiful teachers’ shortage,” said Mr Roble.

To bridge the wide gap in the education sector in Mandera, Mr Roble challenged locals to send their children to teacher training colleges.

Take up teaching jobs

“We need to encourage our young generation to take up teaching jobs because this June we will have an intake for students to join teacher training colleges in the country,” he said.

At least four secondary schools in Mandera have only a principal with no other teachers, according to the education officer.

There are 57 public secondary schools in Mandera County.

Another 122 primary schools in this far flung county only have one teacher each.

An attempt by the local leadership to fill the gap in primary schools was thwarted by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) in 2016.null

TSC declined to have locals who scored D+ in KCSE to train as teachers.

“We had worked hard to get 197 students to join Mandera Teachers Training College but the TSC directive reduced the number to 26 who only had the required C plain grade,” said County education CEC Izzidun Abdullahi.

Teachers needed

With 295 public primary schools, Mandera needs 1,849 teachers to fill the gap. There are only 803 teachers currently.

Another 517 teachers are needed in the 57 public secondary schools which are being served by 385 tutors currently.

The majority of non-local teachers deserted the county in 2015 and others have since been transferred from Mandera due to insecurity posed by the Al-Shabaab terror cells.

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