Thousands of teachers in northeastern Kenya were forced to leave their jobs following attacks by the al-Shabaab terrorist group. This threatens students' education. According to terrorism expert Magnus Norell, al-Shabaab opposes non-Islamic teachings.
Thousands of Kenyan teachers working in rural areas in the north-eastern part of the country on the border with Somalia have been forced to leave their jobs for security reasons. The national teachers' union The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) wants to protect its members after several suspects attacks have been directed at teachers by the terrorist group al-Shabaab. The first attack took place in early January at a boarding school in the village of Dadaab, in the Garissa region. Three students and a teacher were killed, according to information from the police.
A few days later was performed an attack nearby at a school in the village Kamuthe where three non-Muslim teachers were murdered, one was injured and one was abducted.
Al-Shabaab's official website, Shahada, claimed responsibility for the attack on Monday.
In Utvecklingsmagasinet's e-mail correspondence with the terror expert Magnus Norell, he explains that the reason why al-Shabaab attacks teachers has to do with their ideological basic view. Namely, they believe that teaching that is not pure and unadulterated Islamic is to be regarded as "evil".
"Those who teach such subjects are to be regarded as enemies of the orthodox form of Islam to which al-Shabaab professes," Norell writes.
As al-Shabaab is also fighting the government - which is trying to rebuild the country through education for both boys and girls - attacks on schools will be another way to fight the government.
The shortage of teachers has forced schools to strike, which in turn has affected many students' education. Abdullahi Hassan Maalim, who represents the local authorities in the Wajir region, criticizes in an interview with The Guardian the teachers' union TSC for having decided to evacuate the teachers without first consulting the authorities. Maalim believes that the union and the authorities must instead work to protect teachers.
In order to To protect schools and other educational institutions, Norell claims that background checks and metal detectors are being introduced and that it employs security guards, which is difficult in a country with a lack of infrastructure and trained staff.
After schools were closed in northeastern Kenya due to the terrorist attack, another threat to education came. Since March 15, all schools in the country have been closed as the number of confirmed cases of covid-19 began to increase.
According to George Magotha at the Ministry of Education, the schools would open on June 4 throughout the country. However, as the number of confirmed cases has continued to increase, the closure of schools has been extended until the spread of the virus has been controlled. Something that can last until January. When students in north-eastern Kenya are allowed to return to school, their safety must be guaranteed.
Al-Shabaab became known as an independent organization when, at the end of Somalia's twenty - year civil war in 2006, they severed ties with the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), of which they were part of the military. In 2008, the United States began to view al-Shabaab as a terrorist organization. After al-Shabaab was accused of attacking tourist areas in northeastern Kenya in 2011 by the Kenyan government, the group has carried out a chain of attacks on public places in Kenya. In 2012, they joined the al-Qaeda terrorist group.