Dialogue best way out of industrial action threat by teachersâ€™ union
SEE ALSO :Kepsa initiative receives Sh154mIf this window provided does not yield fruit, the students, some of whom are preparing for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations. As for specific concerns, TSC and the Ministry of Education are in the best position to address these issues. Take, for instance, performance contracts. If there are any differences, these should and can be negotiated amicably. The principle that teachers will be rewarded on the basis of their performance cannot and should not be faulted. But differences of opinion between the two sides can only be ironed out when the teachers and their employer give dialogue a chance. The other issue concerns the Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development (TPAD). While teachers' unions argue that it can’t work, that it is not a good system of appraising teachers and that it is interfering with teaching, the teachers' employer sees it as the only sure way of monitoring performance. However, TSC knows that classroom teachers are not properly monitored and evaluated on the effectiveness of their teaching methods and the expected outcomes. Poor communication Additionally, the commission has to contend with poor communication within its ranks at the field level, lack of proper documentation on teachers' classroom work, and non-compliance with guidelines and timelines related to Performance Contracting and TPAD. School data management and reports have always shown and indicated mismanagement of these crucial processes, which makes the whole processes a mockery. It is written all over that we have an ill-prepared body to supervise these aspects as is attested by what is happening in schools. Delocalisation, effected recently, caused a hue and cry among teachers. Traditionally, while it is a well-meaning mechanism to accrue and ensure so many advantages, its implementation must have been both haphazard and unplanned. In its format, it was bound to raise a storm. The other contentious issue has been the promotion of more than 30,000 teachers who have attained higher academic qualifications. This matter is not new. Teachers have been raising it for years, with every effort to look at it in a holistic manner as the way out. This needs to change. It would serve the purpose if a new, creative mechanism to reward hard-working teachers could be found. That way, TSC will be able to retain excellent professionals in the classrooms. Why are so many schools in the country operating in a state of constant frugality? If you ask parents, teachers' strikes have been one of the most irritating inconveniences. That is why, if we retain and encourage the spirit of dialogue and consultations in the education sector, we will all be much richer. Dr Mogambi, a development and social change expert, teaches at the University of Nairobi; [email protected]
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