TSC Bosses In A Dilemma Over Requests For Transfer By Teachers From Northern Kenya

Demands by teachers for transfer from the volatile counties in northern Kenya to safer workstations remain a hot topic at the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) headquarters in Nairobi. In August this year, more than 200 teachers from schools in Wajir, Mandera and parts of Isiolo held protests at the TSC headquarters in Upper Hill, Nairobi, demanding to be transferred.

The teachers vowed never to return to their current stations citing discrimination by locals, insecurity, and poor working conditions. What followed was the interdiction and victimization of the teachers who had participated in the protest by the TSC. The Weekly Vision has a letter dated September 29, 2023, captioned “Letter of Interdiction” to a teacher (names withheld) who was stationed in Hadado Sub-County in Wajir County.

The letter reads in part, “I am directed by the Teachers Service Commission to write to you over allegations that you have breached cause (b) (iv) of the third schedule of the Act in that you deserted duty with effect from July 17, 2023, to date; consequently, you are hereby interdicted with effect from September 29, 2023.”

The letter then directs the interdicted teacher to make a defence or response to the Commission in writing within two days from the date of the interdiction letter. The letter further states, “You will be given an opportunity to be heard by the commission in person. Present any other evidence, including documents, in support of your case. Vacate the office and continue to be away”.

The interdiction letter comes months after non-locals living in Mandera protested over increased insecurity. But even though the affected teachers continue to pile pressure on TSC for transfers, this has been declined.

In regretful letters to the teachers, the TSC said it could not transfer the teachers due to a lack of suitable replacements. The teachers who received their regret letter from TSC confirmed that their employer directed that they report to their workstations by September 9 or face disciplinary action.

The regret letter reads, in part, “Your request for transfer out of the North Eastern region is acknowledged by TSC. However, due to the lack of a suitable replacement, your request is hereby declined. You are therefore directed to report to your workstation by September 7, 2023, failing which disciplinary action shall be preferred against you.”