Robin Obino and George Kebaso
Interior and Co-ordination of National Government Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i on Friday vowed not to renege on the ongoing reforms in the education sector, especially on the transfer of head teachers. Matiang’i, who is the acting Education CS, instructed County Commissioners to arrest any person who tries to prevent public servants from working.
Matiangi spoke even as Inspector General (IG) of Police Joseph Boinnet gave a stern warning to people opposed to the recent transfer of teachers announced by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). Speaking during a one-day security forum at Utalii in Nairobi on Friday, Boinnet said the government would not allow any illegal eviction of teachers from schools.
“Any civil servant- teachers, doctors, engineers- have a right to work in any part of the country. Let’s abide by the employer’s (TSC) directives. Any violators will be met by the full force of the law,” he said.
The top government officials were reacting to Thursday events in parts of the country, where local leadership barred newly-transferred school heads from taking up their duties.
Bungoma Members of the County Assembly ejected and frog-marched a head teacher, who had been posted to Friends School Kamusinga. A similar incident rocked St Joseph’s Girls School Kibwezi in Makueni county, where MCAs were apprehended and are expected to appear before Court. “We are not going back on the transfer of schools principals.
I urge all County Commissioners to arrest anybody who interferes with this programme,” Matiang’i said at Kenya School of Government, where he was meeting National and County governments security and education officials. He directed that MCAS, who frog-marched a principal in Bungoma, be are arrested and arraigned before court.
“The Constitution is clear that as Kenyans, we have a right to work anywhere in this country. I urge County Commissioners to apprehend anyone who interferes with any public servant in their area,” he said.
Matiang’i, who was accompanied by his Transport, Infrastructure and Housing counterpart James Macharia among others, said the De-localisation Policy, where public servants are re-shuffled across the country, will continue, adding that it is one of the government’s enhanced strategies to end the rot in the education sector.
The CS challenged county chiefs to take up their duties more seriously, adding that the ongoing reforms in the country’s education sector must succeed.
In West Pokot, Kapenguria Boys High School was closed indefinitely after students staged protests against the transfer of the school principal James Omayo to Makunga Boys in Trans Nzioa county.
The students boycotted lessons, forcing the County Director of Education Jarred Obiero to close the school to avoid damage. TSC had ordered a re-deployment of more than 500 long-serving school heads to new schools. The directive, however, has sparked protests, with some leaders opposing the posting of new head teachers to their schools.