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State to blame for teacher absenteeism

By Mutahi Kahiga | January 6th 2016

The Ministry of Education has suddenly realised the cause of dismal examination results in public schools.

The ministry believes that the most compelling reason for declining performance is teacher absenteeism. Teachers like all human beings have needs which may once in a while compel them to be absent from school.

This, however, cannot get to the levels of 42.6 per cent cited by the ministry. Teachers are afflicted by diseases like hypertension and stomach ulcers. Such diseases are caused principally by stress and working in stressful environments. Public schools are the most stressful places to spend time in. The teacher student ratio is unbearable.

Teacher stress is also caused by financial constraints as they earn peanuts. Let the ministry stop looking for scapegoats in teachers. Motivated teachers will go out of their way to get results but underpaid, overburdened and demotivated teachers will spend most of their energy and time in hospitals seeking treatment. Blaming them without figures and facts just hardens their resolve.

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