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TSC's new rules will demoralise teachers

UREPORT
By Faith Onunga | February 13th 2017

The Teachers Service Commission's new rules designed to see that all the 278,000 teachers work on weekends and holidays are likely to cause chaos in the education sector.

According to TSC, teacher's in charge of saccos and union officials wishing to meet their members will be required to have written permission to be away from school on weekends or public holidays. The same applies to sports, drama or music teachers when co-curricular activities are taking place on those days. The new directives are meant to keep teachers in class for effective curriculum implementation.

In a circular dated February 2, TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia directed Government ministries, agencies and non-governmental organisations undertaking educational tasks that require teacher participation to schedule these for weekends and school holidays.

Teachers have opposed the tough rules saying they are belittling and meant to punish them. Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary General Wilson Sossion believes the directive will hurt teachers morale and performances. He said teachers are not refusing to teach but the focus should be on employing more teachers.

Teachers' unions say the circular was issued in bad taste since the official working hours have been gazetted by the Ministry of Education.

Yes, TSC has every right to ensure that teachers work harder to help young ones achieve their potential. However this should be done in a professional, amicable and ethical manner knowing very well that tutors too have a right to rest, worship and socialise.

When the Government and teachers' unions signed a collective bargaining agreement, many thought that TSC's change of heart would end years of confrontation between teachers and their employer. Its time to make teaching great again through consultation and strict adherence to local and global labour rights and freedoms.

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