When teachers at a local school in conflict-prone Forole town on the Kenya-Ethiopia border failed to show up due to insecurity, a police officer decided to switch from a rifle to chalk.

Police Constable Jairus Mulumia had been posted to Forole Primary School to protect the institution.

However, while on his routine duties at the institution last week, he noted that some teachers were missing, owing to insecurity. Eleven people had earlier been killed by suspected Ethiopian militia.


Constable Mulumia noticed that Grade Five pupils were idle and decided to act — he went to the class to teach mathematics.

A photo of the police officer in his combat uniform solving Math problems on the board went viral on social media on Monday night.

Pupils are seen keenly following the lesson. Interestingly, only girls were in class the day the photo was taken.

Mr Mulumia, who is also a trained teacher, is reluctant to comment about the incident, noting that he is not authorised to speak to the media.

When contacted by the Nation, Mr Mulumia said his position does not permit him to speak to journalists unless granted a go ahead by his bosses.

He, however, said he is unaware that his photo has gone viral. “It is something that just happened spontaneously. I did not even know my photo was trending online because the people who took it only said they were documenting about education in the region. Once I have authorisation from my bosses, I will be able to give you further details,” Constable Mulumia said.


Although police officers are usually demonised as corrupt and trigger-happy, the soft-spoken Mulumia has been receiving accolades from Kenyans and even his bosses, who say the move is a reflection of the ongoing police reforms.

“Our job is to give service to the people and we are very proud and happy when we see our officers going out of their way to serve humanity,” Eastern Regional Police Commander Eunice Kihiko told the Nation.


Marsabit Police Commander Steve Oloo commended the officer for using his professional training to fill the gap left by teachers.

“We have many police officers who are vastly experienced in various areas. The incident also shows that the officers are providing enough security in the area, even to pupils and teachers,” said Mr Oloo.