By Wahome Thuku
LAST EVENING I RECEIVED this inbox message from a High School teacher in Garissa.
â€œWahome, I am a teacher at (school name given). When I wake up in the morning I will write you a story. I am pulling out of the place. Good night.
THIS MORNING he sent me the story:
â€œ100% of my students are Somalis and they are Muslims. About 80% of teachers are ‘”nywele ngumu” . I teach literature. We teach while looking at our backs because if you offend a student, you are dead. I was teaching poetry in form one and some students said it is HARAM. I didn’t know what to do or say. I ended the lesson. We are treated there like slaves. If the students don’t like you, your game is over. Now, if you happen to invigilate the KCSE, you must be ready to cooperate with them in stealing the exam. If you don’t you are dead. I happened to do it this time. I caught a student with Mwakenya and I handed it over to KNEC. The following morning I was accosted by two men and told me “wee kafiri hasidi, huyo mwanafunzi akipata Y tutakupiga risasi ya matako. Mbwa wewe” I told my supervisor and he advised me to go to police. I recorded a statement and since I didn’t know them, no arrest was made. A teacher neighbour of mine was shot under the similar circumstances. The government is waiting I die so that it can take action and transfer me and others. Here in garissa we don’t teach what we have to teach. We teach what the students want. If you don’t you are done. A colleague was chased from class for teaching INSURANCE to them. It is against Islam to do insurance. I am a sad teacher because I can’t do Music because it is haram. Drama is haram. As a teacher I can’t put on a simple chain. It is haram. I am lucky to be alive as I write this. my landlord is another one. We have toilets for nywele ngumu who “wanakojoa kama punda”. At work our bosses treat us different. If a nywele ngumu has done a mistake, it’s treated as treason . A letter is drafted to the TSC immediately. If it’s a local it’s treated locally. I have a colleague who has never reported to school but he is still in payroll. They believe nywele ngumu are slaves. I don’t know what I am going to do. I am too young to die. Right now I am in Nairobi looking for another job. I don’t think it is worth dying for nothing. If I get a job where I can earn 30k for now I am sure that I can survive. Teaching (…) is like trying to milk a buffalo