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Fred Matiang'i asks TSC to review rules on school weekend activities

By Geoffrey Mosoku | Updated Thu, February 16th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i. (Photo: Willis Awandu/Standard)

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i has said regulations on weekend activities in schools will be reviewed to create consensus.

The CS said he had asked the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to convene a meeting to discuss the controversial regulations.

Dr Matiang'i acknowledged that the new regulations banning non-academic activities on weekdays had raised concerns among stakeholders.

"We have received calls from teachers' unions and representatives about the new rules. I have thus asked TSC to convene a meeting to discuss the issue and build consensus," the CS said

The CS, speaking during an interview on Egesa FM's breakfast show yesterday, did not say when the meeting would take place.

He said even his own brother, John Matiang'i, the Knut national treasurer, had petitioned him concerning the issue.

ALSO READ: CS Matiang'i asks TSC to review rules on school weekend activities

"My own brother who is the national treasurer of Knut is among the many people who have called to convey teachers' concerns. I have also received calls from the Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association (Kepsha) among many others. It's our duty to discuss and find an amicable solution," he added.

One of the concerns raised by teachers is the right to worship given that non-academic activities will take place on weekends, meaning teachers will be on duty on their worship days.

Over the weekend, TSC insisted it would not relax the new regulations that rule out interference of normal learning programmes.

Following protests from teachers' unions, the commission stated that the new rules would not be changed and warned that absence from school without documentation would be met with strict disciplinary action.

LOG BOOK

"Absence from school by a teacher or head of institution, including on official assignments, should be documented and entered in the school log book," said the commission's Head of Communication, Kihumba Kamotho.

He said activities like head teachers' conferences, which are usually held on school days, would happen during the holidays because they keep the heads away from work for up to a week.

At least 7,000 principals and 22,000 head teachers are usually away during this annual event.

"This is intended to strengthen supervision of learning activities, which is basic to the implementation of the curriculum," said Mr Kamotho.

 

Knut has protested the new rules, saying they are a ploy to punish teachers.

"Teachers are not refusing to teach but the focus should be on employing more teachers, not making them work on weekends and holidays," said Knut.

Kuppet has also demanded the withdrawal of the circular and directed teachers to ignore it "as we handle this matter with the TSC".

"We express our dismay with the TSC circular forcing teachers to work over the weekend. I wish to remind them, it is against the Employment Act to work extra hours," said Kuppet national chairman Omboko Milemba.


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