Student teachers in Garissa college in Northern Kenya have been told that they will not be transferred to other colleges to complete their training and take their leaving exams. The college was the scene of a dreadful massacre in April, when 142 students were killed by Al Shabaab. The group are still attacking in the Garissa area, having recently taken control of Yumbis village on the outskirts. Yet a student told the press: 'After the Yumbis attack, were were told we couldn’t leave the college. The institution is still not fenced as claimed by the ministry. There are only three policemen and one KDF soldier.'

Tragically but understandably, many young trainee teachers have decided as a result to give up on their dreams of joining the profession. Not only do they fear for their safety at the college, but they have the example of the other teachers from Northern Kenya whose colleagues were massacred last December, and who were also refused transfers to safer areas in the absence of proper security.

Wilson Sossion, General Secretary of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) said: 'Given the security situation in Garissa, the students should be distributed in other colleges in the country. We cannot afford to lose more young people.'

Incredibly, the cabinet secretary for education has said he is 'too busy' to meet students who are not willing to go back to Garissa, while the Education Secretary said she was 'surprised' that so few students had turned up at the college.

Given the appalling trauma the students have suffered, we are surprised that any students turned up at all, especially given that the government does not appear to have made any significant efforts to improve security and Al Shabaab is still launching attacks nearby. The cavalier attitude with which these young students are being treated is another, albeit extreme example, of the kind of attitude which teachers so often suffer. They are expected to work miracles on poverty pay, in appalling conditions and in too many parts of the world such as Northern Kenya, at the risk of losing their lives.