Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has cautioned the government against discriminating P1 teachers in the recruitment of Junior Secondary School (JSS) teachers.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has in the recent past insisted that only teachers who scored a C+ and above in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary School Education (KCSE) examination will handle the junior secondary students.
But KNUT Secretary General Collins Oyuu has termed the proposal by TSC as discriminatory, warning that the declaration is a recipe for chaos.
Addressing the press in Kisumu, Oyuu stated that some of the P1 teachers have upgraded to Diploma courses and higher Diplomas and can teach grade 7. He added that some of the teachers have Degrees and shouldn’t be sidelined.
“Why do we want to use academic stratification to deny teachers who have worked hard and upgraded their skills through advanced learning, why?’’ he posed
Oyuu asked TSC to consider dropping the requirement to C plain, adding most teachers who went through Teachers Training Colleges can handle junior secondary.
He claimed that there exist professors in Kenya today who made their way to the top from
“One time Education PS Prof Karega Mutahi was once a P2 teacher but rose to become a highly reputed scholar in Kenya. So why discriminate,’’ he added.
Oyuu noted that Grade 7 learners have passed through the hands of P1 teachers who are now being told they can’t handle the classes.
Oyuu called on TSC to find a long lasting solution to the stand off to avoid conflicts in schools.
“Given that the Junior secondary schools will be domiciled in the primary schools, you will cause unnecessary tensions and conflicts,’’ he warned
He also urged the government to employ more than 100,000 teachers to allow the teaching of the students enrolled in Junior secondary to start.
As things stand, learning in most Junior secondary schools is yet to begin amid an acute shortage of Grade 7 teachers.
” In some schools, there is not even a single Junior secondary school teacher, and in some cases, the ministry has only posted one,’’ Oyuu claimed.
He disclosed that Knut has been in the last one week visiting a number of schools to assess the situation across the country and the report is baffling.
“It is the reason, we are calling on TSC to move fast to address the looming teachers shortages,’’ Oyuu added.
He also wondered how some schools with more than 100 students spread in three streams and some even four will be handled by one teacher.
Oyuu accused the policymakers of being short-sighted in the hiring of teachers.
He was flanked by Kisumu Knut branch executive secretary David Obuon and other officials who also briefed him on the teacher’s woes.
Although the ministry rolled out the distribution of textbooks this week, Knut officials said many schools are yet to receive books for Grade Seven learners.
“We currently have about 348,000 trained teachers in the 47 counties yet to be hired by TSC and more are being trained,” he said
Knut also wants the Ministry of Education to fast-track the transfer of teachers who had been affected by the delocalization program back to their home counties.
Oyuu said teachers have been suffering under the delocalization program and should revert to their home counties by end of January.
He also asked teachers to behave well in schools and avoid obscene behaviour. Oyuu condemned the recent incident in which five teachers were arrested in Kisii for forcing learners to perform an indecent act depicting homosexuality.
“In as much as we are your defenders, we will not defend wrongs. Do good and be morally upright teachers. Let us inculcate good values in our students who are also our children. Some mistakes are uncalled for,” Oyuu said.
The five teachers have since been interdicted. Knut said they will, however, still treat them as innocent until proven guilty.