President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday said the teachers’ delocalisation policy will be reviewed to ensure it does not break up families.
President Kenyatta said he had received concerns that some families have been affected by transfer of school administrators to other counties.
“We are reviewing the policy guidelines on delocalisation of teachers to ensure that it is not implemented to the detriment of families,” he said.
Mr Kenyatta directed Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to finalise the review by the end of this month.
He underscored the role the sector plays in actualising the ‘Big Four’ development agenda.
“Without requisite education, our ‘Big Four’ agenda will remain a dream. It is on this understanding that my administration has committed to ensuring that every Kenyan child receives high quality and holistic education.”
Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion has been calling for the policy’s review, accusing the Teachers Service Commission of making decisions before consulting them.
He said teachers will go on strike next month if the policy is not abolished.
TSC chief executive officer Nancy Macharia argued that delocalisation is meant to enhance national cohesion.
The TSC introduced the programme last year and more than 1,065 head teachers have been transferred. However, last week, TSC chief executive officer Nancy Macharia said no teacher will be redeployed in third term to allow for smooth preparation of candidates for national examinations that are slated for October and November.
On Wednesday, Mr Sossion described the President’s directive as good progress, adding, however, that the union will give final comments on the policy issues after a meeting scheduled for August 21.
“Delocalisation is just one of the issues we are raising, we still have issues with performance contracts,” he said
President Kenyatta’s order caught the TSC off-guard. Earlier in Mombasa, the commission had warned that head teachers who refuse transfers would be thrown out of the service.
TSC, through acting director of staffing Rita Wahome, ordered the teachers to either work wherever they are deployed or quit.
She further ordered: “An institution administrator who is unable to perform the duties on account of physical deformities maybe retired from service on medical grounds as provided under the code of regulation for teachers 2015. Of course after due process is followed.”
The directive comes as the profession suffers an acute shortage of 40,972 teachers in primary schools and 63,849 in secondary schools.
Speaking during the ongoing Kenya Primary School Head Teachers Association conference in Mombasa, the employer mandated the principals to assist TSC in managing teacher discipline in the institutions.
The employer also charged the administrators to adhere to integrity and professionalism in the service, ensure safety of learners, performance management, performance contracting and Teacher Performance, Appraisal and Development (TPAD).
On the issue of school title deeds, Mr Kenyatta also asked Ms Mohamed to speed up the process of reclaiming grabbed public school lands by end of December.
More importantly, he urged parents to help teachers in disciplining in their children.
Similarly, Ms Mohamed said her ministry is working jointly with the Interior ministry and the TSC to come up with strategies of enhancing good behaviour among learners.
She praised schools managed by the Catholic Church because they have reported few cases of unruliness.
Commission for Education and Religious Education Chairman Rev Paul Kariuki Njiru said they support school reforms.
“The interest of the child is paramount and should not be compromised,” he said.