MPs insist they have a role in hiring of 35,000 teachers
Several MPs ignored the strict guidelines issued by the teachers employer over the planned recruitment of 35,000 teachers and mobilised their constituents to apply for the slots.
Despite the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) having made it clear that the lawmakers had no role in the recruitment and issuing stringent guidelines, thousands of unemployed teachers turned up following notices issued by their MPs.
TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia had warned MPs against meddling in the exercise, saying it was being conducted by the school boards of management.
“The recruitment of teachers is being done by the boards of management and therefore I don’t see where the MPs are coming in this,” said Macharia.
She added: “On recruitment of teachers let me say this, the MPs have no role, and it is being done from the headquarters at the sub county level.”
Macharia made the clarification after members of the National Assembly Education Committee led by its chairperson Julius Melly (Tinderet), Eve Obara (Kabondo Kaspul), Malulu Injendi (Malava) and Peter Orero (Kibra) said they had been ambushed by their constituents to tell them where to converge for recruitment.
In Kabete, hundreds of unemployed teachers honoured an invitation by area MP Githua Wamacukuru where they were appraised on the importance and procedures of applying for the jobs.
The teachers gathered at Bishop Kariuki ACK Hall where TSC officials are said to have taken them through the requirement process.
Contacted, Wamacukuru denied claims that the meeting was meant to interfere with the recruitment process.
Some teachers were concerned that the MP was likely to push for the employment of his cronies and those who voted for him in the last election.
“I fear that political interference will see some of us being edged out despite having the qualifications,” said a teacher who sought anonymity.
But the MP allayed fears of favouritism saying qualified applicants will be hired.
Among those who held meetings are Kiragu Chege (Limuru) and Kimani Wanjiku (Kiambaa).
In Murang’a, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro convened a meeting on Tuesday attended by about 800 teachers.
In Kakamega County, Lurambi MP Titus Khamala sparked a storm after declaring that only teachers who are voters in his constituency will be hired.
“The ID card must read Lurambi and, if not, I will ensure we establish if the applicants vote in our constituency,” he said.
Speaking from the US where he is on an official visit, the MP said the decision was meant to protect his constituents.
Khamala said he had met TSC officials from the sub-county to the national levels and made his stand clear.
The remarks were, however, criticised by a section of residents, terming it discriminatory.
“Lurambi hosts Kakamega town which is largely cosmopolitan and there is a number of trained teachers who have lived here for years but their ID cards read elsewhere. Will they be denied this opportunity just because of that?” posed one teacher.
Some MPs have said they will not interfere with the exercise but called for equity.
“My focus is on quality education in Khwisero regardless of who provides it,” said area MP Christopher Aseka.
Fred Ikana (Shinyalu) and Benard Shinali (Ikolomani) agreed with Aseka.
“We should be cautious because our sons and daughters are also seeking similar opportunities elsewhere,” said Shinali.
Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba said TSC is an equal employer and there should not be any discrimination.
“Every qualified teacher is eligible for recruitment by TSC to serve in any part of the country. In fact we should be working on creating more opportunities for our teachers to serve beyond our borders,” he said.