Parents eject teachers from school over poor performance

Parents of Miguye primary school in Kisumu county after they stormed the school on 20th January 2015

Parents at Miguye Primary School yesterday stormed into the school and ejected teachers over claims of poor performance.

The parents, who accessed the school compound by 9am, caused teachers to scamper for safety as they searched for the school’s head teacher, John Akuom, who was forced to lock himself in his office.

The irate parents who accused Mr Akuom of poor performance stormed his office threatening to break the door and it took the intervention of Chief John Adel to restore sanity.

The school performed dismally in the 2014 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations with a mean grade of 194 marks and 19 out of the 27 candidates scoring below 200 marks.

No support

Rodgers Otieno, a parent, accused the teachers of demanding too much money for remedial classes, which he said parents had rejected claiming it left the tutors dejected.

“We have been concerned with the school’s performance since 2005. Even if the people from the community are not bright as has been claimed by teachers, is it totally impossible to have a few candidates who can register better grades than these?” he asked.

The head teacher however denied claims of poor performance and instead accused parents of having vested interests in the school’s management.

He dismissed claims that he had locked himself in the office saying he was in his office writing a letter for a teacher who was to be transferred, before he heard teachers run out of the office and one teacher locked him in for fear that he would have been attacked.

Akuom said the parents who stormed the school are among those who failed to secure a place on the school’s board of management.

“I was posted to this school last year and no one can accuse me of perennial poor performance.

“We had met and discussed the issues facing the school and agreed to work together. Such issues are discussed at the annual general meeting and not through storming into my office,” he said.

The head teacher turned the tables on the parents accusing them of a lack of commitment in their parental obligations, which he said has made it difficult to manage the school.

Meanwhile learning in the county’s public schools resumed yesterday, with a 100 per cent turn out for both teachers and learners, even as the tutors accused the Government of victimisation.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) officials asked the Government and Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to release four teachers who were arrested last week in Bungoma and Busia counties.

The four were apprehended by police when they went to bar other teachers from resuming duty during the nationwide strike called for by the teachers’ unions.

County Kuppet Branch Chairman Zablon Awange accused the Government of double standards for failing to ensure the teachers are released.

“The courts have directed that there should be no victimisation for everything that transpired during the strike hence the cases against the teachers should be withdrawn so they can resume work,” he said.

Court ruling

Awange said teachers had honoured the court’s ruling despite not getting the increment in their basic salary that they were seeking

He said this should prompt the Government to fast track the teachers’ salary negotiations in order to restore teacher morale.

“We have contacted a number of schools and we have reports that teachers are at work as was directed by the court. I can confirm that we are back to work, demotivated but hopeful that something good will come at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

The union leader however, said the court ruling has not affected future strikes since such action is provided for in the constitution.

“Strikes have always been our last resort and we are always ready to down our tools if things do not work out for teachers,” he said.

The eight-day strike that interrupted learning in public schools across the country ended last week after the Industrial Court took over the pay negotiations and ordered teachers to return to class from Monday this week.