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Teachers protest new masters rule

By Michael Chepkwony | September 13th 2019
Teachers protest new masters rule. [File, Standard]

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education of Teachers (Kuppet) has protested a requirement that teachers seeking to become principals and deputy principals must have a masters degree.

Last month, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) invited online applications from teachers who want to be promoted to be principals and deputy principals.

A masters’ degree in education was among the mandatory requirements, and the TSC portal automatically blocked teachers without postgraduate qualifications.

Yesterday, Kuppet Secretary General Akelo Misori, National Chairman Omboko Milemba, National Vice chairman Julius Korir and National Treasurer Mwethi Njenga accused TSC of sneaking in new requirements without involving all stakeholders.

“The commission is introducing non-existent and far-fetched rules,” said Misori.

Misori said there was no engagement between the teachers’ employer and the union on the new requirements and called on TSC to retract them and make realistic amendments.

The officials argued that the masters degree requirement would lock out thousands of teachers, including those serving as principals and deputies in acting capacities awaiting confirmation.

The union said a masters degree should be an added advantage for applicants rather than a mandatory requirement.

It has written to TSC detailing why it believes the new requirement is unnecessary and unrealistic and expressed optimism that the commission would reconsider.

“We are not issuing ultimatums. We are asking TSC to see sense in our arguments,” said Mr Omboko.

Among the requests that Kuppet has made to TSC is to have acting principals and deputy principals confirmed rather than undergo the application process. “Some of the acting principals and deputies have served for years and it would be an insult to lock them out because of the new requirement. They have demonstrated they have the capacity to serve and stood in at the time there were gaps in school management,” said Korir.

The union will have a meeting with TSC next week and wants the masters degree matter settled before then.

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