The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has ordered for all public primary and secondary school plus teachers training colleges to submit details of teachers handling guidance and counselling docket in their schools.
This comes after rampant cases of school unrests. The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) has attributed the recent cases of unrest in schools to drug abuse.
Just today Tuesday, police in Kirinyaga County have arrested a Form Three student who attacked several teachers at Rwambiti Secondary school.
According to the Gichugu Sub-county Police commander Anthony Mbogo who confirmed the incident, the student had refused to be searched before he began beating up teachers.
The student was nabbed with a phone by the teacher on duty, but he quickly hid it and refused to be frisked.
Sources have revealed that TSC is planning for training of the teachers to enhance their skills to curb the rising cases of indiscipline in schools.
Among the details want captured is a teachers TSC number, gender, job grade, teaching subjects, level of training for guidance and counselling and the county which the teacher is found.
Schools are facing a serious dilemma on how to discipline learners, as teachers and parents reject the use of the cane to punish errant students.
Opinion remains divided on the proposal by the Ministry of Education to reintroduce the cane banned in 2001, as some stakeholders say it may be the magic stick to restore good manners in schools.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha last week hinted at a possible move to bring back the cane as cases of indiscipline increased in schools.
“I may appear old school, but I think we are at a time when we need to discuss how we can bring sanity in our schools and maybe bring the cane on board once more,” Magoha said.
The Basic Education Act (Section 36) outlaws physical punishment and mental harassment, and prescribes a fine not exceeding Sh100,000 or six months’ imprisonment for offenders.
“No pupils shall be subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, in any manner, whether physical or psychological,” reads the Act.
This means to actualise the proposal by Prof Magoha, the Act must be amended to allow teachers to instill physical discipline, including caning.
It has, however, emerged that teachers can only take instructions from their employer the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) on the use of corporal punishment.
The Ministry of Education has absolute authority on the children and schools’ infrastructure and property. But it has limited powers on teachers, who run the public schools.
This means the directive by Magoha, even if it were feasible, may not be implemented unless it is issued by TSC.
“Teachers are at the centre of schools’ management, overseeing children and property, yet the ministry does not have powers over them. This is the sad irony of the position of the ministry,” said a senior official at the ministry.
It also emerged that it would require amendment of the Children’s Act to actualise Magoha’s proposal.
“If a teacher canes a child s/he will be sued and Magoha will not help them. Teachers are answerable to TSC and so they can’t implement directives without a circular from the Commission,” a teacher said.