The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) is silent as a total of 129 non-local teachers who were working in North Eastern regions are set to face Teachers Service Commission (TSC) disciplinary panels.
The teachers who were working in the counties of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa were interdicted for deserting.
Knut has not been vocal enough to call out the Commission for interdicting the teachers who were were out of duty demanding to be transferred from the insecure regions of North Eastern.
There cases will start to be heard this week by TSC panels in their counties of service.
They were directed to present their original copies of their academic and professional certificates, latest payslips, national identification number, and teacher registration certificate to the hearing panel.
“You are also advised to bring your letter of interdiction together with any documents that may be useful in your defence. You are advised to contact the Teachers Service Commission if the decision of the case is not communicated to you within 28 days from the date of the hearing,” reads the letter signed by one F Kanyoro on behalf of the Commission Secretary Dr. Nancy Macharia.
One insider revealed that the teachers will be served with a warning letter for breaching TSC code of regulations for teachers before being reinstated.
This means that the teachers will not be paid for the period they were out of school. A salary recovery will also be done for the period they were paid yet they stopped working.
Those with loans and other commitments will have to make adjustments with their financial institutions.
The casualty return submitted by their headteachers will indicate the actual period they were out of working station.
He says the teachers will be posted to different counties within North Eastern after their cases are heard.
According to TSC a teacher can be interdicted for deserting duty. TSC code clause (b) (iv) defines Desertion as absence from duty for 14 continuous days (without written permission) including weekends and public holidays.
The 129 non-local teachers were seeking transfers from North Eastern Kenya due to insecurity.
The Commission in the month of September ordered the teachers to report to their workstations.
The tutors failed to report back but continued to camp outside TSC head offices demanding for transfer.
TSC interdicted the teachers and started issuing them with interdiction letters.
“I am directed by the Teachers Service Commission to say that, it is alleged that you have breached clause (b) (iv) of the Third Schedule of the Act in that: You deserted duty with effect from 09/09/2023 to date while teaching at Rhamu Day Secondary School,” read one of the letters.
On October 16, the teachers held mass protests at TSC headquarters in Upperhill, Nairobi.
They were teargassed by police officers for picketing as they demanded an audience with top TSC officials including Macharia, the CEO.
In the letters to the affected teachers, TSC outlined a 7-point appeal process before the determination of the cases. It directed the interdicted teachers on the following steps: An Invitation to make defence statements in 21 days, an opportunity to be heard by the commission in person and asked them to indicate the nearest TSC sub-county to report to once a month.
TSC on Monday announced that it had kick started the process of replacing the interdicted teachers.
Speaking in Mombasa during the commencement of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams, TSC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nancy Macharia stated that the new cohort of teachers would be deployed to Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa counties.
Macharia noted that to prevent a similar situation from reoccurring, the commission targeted qualified tutors from North Eastern.
“Today, if you are a teacher in Northern Kenya, get a form from a County Education Director and start teaching,” she stated.
The TSC boss further stated that it was only in North Eastern that teacher recruitment exercise is not closed but always open.
While Macharia indicated that local teachers would be given priority, she added that qualified tutors from other parts of the country were welcome to apply.
In particular, she noted that there was a shortage of qualified personnel to teach Physics and Islamic Religious Education in the region.
Macharia further remarked that the teachers who had been issued interdiction letters remained suspended for abandoning their duties.
The CEO further noted that the commission was conducting investigations into why the interdicted teachers had demanded transfers from North Eastern stating that due process will be followed in handling their cases.