Why secondary school principals should be concerned with their calling

The Kenya Secondary Schools Head Teachers Association chairman Mr. Awiti allegedly said that an average of 23 secondary school principals die every year due to stress related complications. (KESSHA) national chair John Awiti said that in the last six years the number of principals who have died due to stress has been increasing. This year, already 14 have died.

According to Awiti, the nature of their job is so demanding and put so much pressure on the principals. He said the reforms in the Education Ministry, Teachers Service Commission, expectations from the society, and the changing environment of the learners bring so much stress to the school heads. All these put together add stress on the principals because they are the custodians and are answerable to all stakeholders of the school said Mr Awiti.

According to health experts, increased stress can bring about heart diseases, asthma, obesity, diabetes, headache, depression, gastrointestinal problems, accelerated aging, and premature death. Awiti said that some of the members are not aware of how to handle themselves and end up in complications, and so they are advising principals to spare some time to meet with colleagues, share some of the challenges in their institutions and come out in forums and share their problems with others.

But my pertinent question is, how many subjects do those principals have? Mr. Awiti should advice his colleagues wisely because, majority of the principals do not teach and most of the time they are away from their stations. They are either in principals, Educations, county director, or board meetings, with sponsors, Mombasa conferences or doing their own errands. When do they teach? When do they enter classrooms?

 Every year the principals go to Mombasa for their bench marking where they enjoy themselves in shopping spree, swimming, touring and entertainment, and then they complain they are stressed, how? Am sorry for those who have passed on, but stress is not what has killed them but other issues. No principal can die because of handling a lot of money and vacating in Mombasa once in a year. There must be other tangible reason which kills them.

 Let the principals relax and know that they should learn to tolerate and appreciate those people they work with and they will live longer. Let them come down from the high horses they are riding and know that they were once teachers like the ones in their schools. Their calling is teaching, so if they engage themselves in what constitute their calling, they will live longer. Ask some of them when they took a cup of tea with their colleagues? They have their own special tea that is where they go wrong. They don’t relax with their teachers so they end up stressed .A one-eyed person does not thank God until he meets a blind person at a prayer.