The Teachers Service Commission has told the court that it cannot shoulder the blame for teachers’ criminal acts.
The commission said this when it filed an appeal against a High Court which had awarded a sh 5 million compensation to two girls who had been defiled by their headteacher severally.
In its appeal, the TSC said it cannot take further action besides sacking and deregistering teachers who were involved in gross misconduct.
WE HAVE DONE OUR BEST
In its statement filed before the court of Appeal, the TSC said it has already done its best to tame rogue teachers who are preying on learners.
Therefore, it cannot be blamed for obstinate teachers who continue to defile learners.
According to the TSC Act and the Sexual Offences Act, any teacher who is involved in Carnal Knowledge with learners can only be sacked and deregistered. There is no provision for compensatory mechanisms.
The commission has therefore argued that if Members of Parliament want the victims to be compensated, they should have come up with a law that provides for the same.
Apart from sacking and deregistering rogue teachers, the commission does not have any mandate to take further unspecified action on a teacher who is involved in illicit actions.
The court papers stated that one of the girls could not bear the stigma of being defiled by the headteacher.
She had consequently dropped out of school while the second victim was greatly traumatized since 2010.
The case was filed by two parents from Nakuru County where the defilement took place.
The parents argued that the girl child is constantly vulnerable to defilement by male teachers.
The parents were enraged by the fact that their daughters had been defiled by a deputy headteacher who was set free afterwards.
In response, lawyer John Chigiti said that failure to protect the learners from exposure thus leading to stigma amounts to negligence on the part of the school.
According to him, due diligence mechanisms should have been put into place to ensure the minors were not exposed.
This, therefore, amounts to institutional negligence on the part of the school in question.
The TSC lawyer argued that even though the commission had a circular barring teachers from abusing learners, it did not guarantee a secure learning environment.
In the year 2010, 600 teachers had been accused of defiling school-going children.
The Centre for Human Rights and Awareness (CREAW) HAS SUPPORTED THE PARENTS ARGUING THAT THE Teachers Service Commission should be forced to compensate the minors.
According to CREAW, TSC is fully responsible since the defilement was committed by the teacher (who is their employee), within the school, in a classroom and during class hours.