Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has threatened industrial action if the teachers service commission (TSC) does not abandon its ongoing teacher delocalisation policy.
According to TSC the policy that involves the deployment of teachers away from their home counties is meant to address staff shortages and strengthen national cohesion.
Speaking in Bomet town during KNUT branch annual delegates’ conference Sunday KNUT National Women Representative Ms Jacinta Ndegwa said that the move was not for the best interest of teachers arguing that it will be separate them from their families.
In a speech read by Ms Ndegwa KNUT Secretary Genera Mr. Wilson Sossion pointed out that the programme contravened the constitution reiterating that public participation was not done on the new policy before its implementation.
He said that if the government was sincere on issues of national cohesion and integration, it would have allowed the introduction of the subject and made it examinable in the curriculum and lamented that poor examination results were blamed on teachers whereas their working conditions were not taken into account.
Ms Ndegwa blamed ethnicity and tribalism on the political class arguing transferring of teachers into unfamiliar territories will never be a panacea to the evils.
Teachers alone will not provide solutions to problems created by political campaigns which has intoxicated the country with tribalism, let all leaders find the solution and leave teachers to stick to their professional issues, she remarked.
Ms Ndegwa at the same time appealed to TSC to stop aligning teachers to unions adding that it was the teacher’s individual democratic right to choose to belong to a trade union. She said that TSC had made it mandatory to deduct secondary school teachers’ union dues and submit them to KUPPET even if the teachers had registered with KNUT.
Bomet branch executive secretary Mr Malel Langat said the County faced acute teachers’ shortage which was one of the leading causes of poor examination performance. He said the County had a shortage over 4000 teachers both in primary and secondary schools saying the secondary schools were the worst hit with a shortage of 2761whereas primary schools lacked 1366.
Mr Malel appealed to the national government to use the policy of affirmative action to employ more teachers in the county in a bid to curb the shortage.
The conference also held the branch by- election to replace official who had retired. Joseph Cheruiyot replaced the outgoing chairman Mr Francis Tonui. Richard Cheruiyot was elected assistant treasurer.
Source: Kenya News Agency