Garissa stares at teaching crisis as non-local teachers begin moving out


Garissa stares at teaching crisis as non-local teachers begin moving out
An empty classroom. Photo/Courtesy

Garissa County is staring at a teaching crisis after non local teachers began moving out of the area after three of them were killed in a dawn terror attack on Monday.

Al-shabaab militants raided Kamuthe Primary Boarding School in the county and shot dead three teachers.

The heavily armed militants attacked the school killing, the non local teachers and left one with serious bullet wounds.

The deceased were identified as Caleb Mutua aged 28, Titus Mshindi aged 29 and 30-year-old Samuel Muthui.

Lucy Wanjira, who is among those who came face to face with death, says the ordeal lasted approximately 2 hours, with the first gunshots being heard around 1am.

It was only until 5.40am when Lucy, who has been a teacher at the school for 2 years now, says they heard residents calling from outside their room.

But for those traumatising hours, Lucy and her 1-year-and-2-month-old baby, were in the company of a colleague, Ann Gideon.

“We heard one who talked in Kiswahili, ‘hakikisha hakuna mtu ako uhai hapo’… then they came to the men’s side and killed them. We were under the bed, the whole time praying asking Jesus to help us. It was only God who helped us nothing else,” recounts Ann.

However, not all teachers were sleeping within the same building that housed the male and female teachers quarters.

Robert Kivuti, who has taught at the school for 6 years, might have been located a few metres away, but the darkness of the sky at the time, appeared to shield him from harm’s way. He had opened his door, when he heard the first gunshots.

“When I opened the door I saw some people outside. I picked my phone and immediately bullets were fired into the house. I ran outside and they followed me into the forest until a point where I decided to hide by lying on the ground,” he said.

Later in the morning, he would see two of the men pass him as he hid in the bushes, but this was after the gunmen had already done more damage. A telecommunication mast had already been destroyed, with Kamuthe Police Station being set ablaze.

The attack comes barely a week after suspected Al Shabaab militants killed four pupils from Saretho Primary School just 25 kilometres from Dadaad Refugee Camp.

Nick Ndalana, the North Eastern Regional Commissioner points at a collaboration between locals and the militants in planning of the attacks.

“People will not come all the way from the border all the way to Kamuthe without knowledge of the locals, I personally see a conspiracy between the group and our locals,” he said.

And while the security agencies have vowed an all out war against the Al Shabaab, Education in Garissa continues to be greatly affected, as the school has now been closed indefinitely.

“For these hot spot areas we need to move the non-locals to safer areas because they are the ones being targeted,” said Yusuf Karayu, the Garissa Regional Education Officer.

Meanwhile KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion has demanded for a meeting between between the union and the government.

“Before we urge teachers to move out, can we have an urgent meeting we have never had the ministry or TSC convening a meeting, it has been a game of cat and mouse,” said Sossion on Monday.

Failure of the meeting Sossion says, will force his union to urge its members to quit with immediate effect.

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