Parliament passes motion to reverse transfer of teachers

Friday, November 4th, 2022 06:40 | By
Parliament passes motion to reverse transfer of teachers
Fanel Iribaye, a teacher at Kongowea Primary School, takes pupils through a maths lesson. PD/file

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) may be forced to reverse its delocalisation policy which started in 2018 after Parliament yesterday passed a motion calling for its abolishment.

TSC will also be required to initiate a comprehensive review of the teacher deployment policy with the involvement of teachers in order to make the policy consistent with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNESCO laws and practices on teacher management and deployment.

The legislators said the mass transfer of teachers was not supported by a clear policy framework and was initiated without the participation of teachers or their unions, contrary to Articles 118 and 132 of the Constitution on public participation and involvement of the people in the process of policy-making.

“Appreciating the invaluable role that teachers play in actualising the national goals of education; noting that a conducive working environment for teachers enhances performance, this House resolves that the Teachers Service Commission immediately reverses the ongoing delocalisation of teachers,” read his motion.

Spouses and children

During the debate on the motion sponsored by Titus Khamala (Lurambi), the MPs accused the commission’s Chief Executive Nancy Macharia of mismanaging the programme.

The MPs said under Macharia’s leadership, teachers had suffered with some of them being deployed far away from their spouses and children.

Khamala said the decision to move teachers was not only wrong but had affected lives, including breaking families.

The delocalisation programme was meant to provide teachers with new working environments and address shortages in some areas.

Disrupted lives

It has seen the transfer of thousands of long-serving head teachers.

The motion comes months after the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) also called for an immediate end to the exercise saying the policy had disrupted the lives of many of its members.

Union secretary general Collins Oyuu said while teachers can be transferred for various reasons, including administrative or on request, some transfers had been punitive.

“All our members who feel aggrieved by this policy shall be assisted to have them work close to their families and spouses. This must not attract any argument since it is espoused in the running CBA. We wish to invite affected members to reach out to us for support,” the Knut boss said.

Contributing to the motion, the MPs expressed disappointment over the policy and demanded that TSC stops the ongoing teacher deployment method and initiate a review of its deployment policy.

Funyula MP Wilberforce Oundo said that while they were not opposed to the policy in its entirety, any transfer of a teacher should be guided by International Labour Organisation laws.

Home areas

Kiminini MP Kakai Bisau also opposed the policy saying it had brought a lot of pain to many teachers.

“I really sympathise with areas where there are shortages of teachers. That is why I am proposing we have an amendment in arid areas where we have challenges to allow other considerations to take centre stage during teacher recruitment. Otherwise, we need to do away with this policy,” he added.

Manyatta MP John Mwaniki said he had been receiving calls from teachers who want his assistance to return to their home areas.

Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda said it was regrettable that after a teacher has served for more than 30 years in their local area they are then transferred to another region.

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