TEACHERS MAY BE RECALLED TO MAN SCHOOL PROPERTY AND DO OTHER MENIAL JOBS IN SCHOOLS; TSC NEWS
Teachers’ fiesta may be cut short if the latest circular by the ministry of education is anything to go by.
According to the circular, the education ministry is concerned that most public schools have been left unattended since the sudden closure of schools in Mid-March to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Consequently, most school property has been vandalized and theft cases have been on an upward trend following the prolonged absence of teachers and learners.
“This is to inform you that reports reaching us indicate that most learning institutions are left unmanned in the day and night, therefore exposing our institutions to vandalism and theft,” reads the memo sent by the ministry to school heads in part.
The ministry, therefore, wants school administrators to ensure that schools are manned during day and night to curb theft and vandalism.
This directive will however open a can of worms since it is not the role of teachers to man institutions. Schools have security guards who should man schools during day and night. So how can teachers sink this low?
Besides, the teachers are only accountable to their employer, the Teachers Service Commission, TSC. They are therefore not answerable to the ministry.
Furthermore, teachers’ recruitment and deployment letters clearly stipulate their working terms and conditions. The TSC has also stipulated teachers’ duties and responsibilities within the school set up.
Even if teachers are on duty throughout the year, duty means manning learners and ensuring order within the school.
Therefore, the role of tutors is to ensure that learners feel safe and protected within the school while on duty not school property.
This explains why Teacher Performance Appraisal Development tools, TPAD contain a section dubbed learners safety and protection and not school property safety and protection!
This comes a time when a section of Kenyans are pushing for the suspension of teachers’ salaries until schools reopen. Proponents of this ill-fated idea feel that tutor’s pay should be slashed or suspended since they are off duty hence “idle” as one megalomaniac put it.
However, the teachers’ employer, TSC has promised not to touch teachers’ salaries. Contrary to their expectations, the Commission has promised to effect the July 2020 pay rise for some of the teachers as agreed in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, CBA.
Therefore, it is highly unlikely that teachers’ pay will be tampered with.
Teachers’ unions have also forewarned the government against any move to slash tutors’ pay. In their defense, KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion said that teachers are willing to return to school and offer service whenever they are called upon.
Besides, it is not the teachers’ fault that schools have been shut down for an extended period. If the conditions are right, teachers will go back to school.
PERMANENT AND PENSIONABLE
Allow me to remind those pushing for the suspension of teachers’ pay that teachers are civil employees. In case you do not understand the meaning of this, allow me to expound a bit. It simply means that teachers may be earning little cash, but their jobs are permanent and pensionable.
Therefore, there is no way the Government can suspend their pay, unless it sacks all of them.
Therefore, it is time to cool your nerves since pushing for the suspension of teachers’ salaries is like asking the government to suspend soldiers’ pay because there is no war.