The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has agreed to move back teachers transferred from a Kakamega school after parents accosted them.
Speaking yesterday after a meeting with sponsors and the Board of Management of the St Gabriel Isongo Secondary School, TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia defended the action, saying tutors cannot work effectively in an unfriendly community.
“The decision of the TSC to, therefore, transfer the teachers was meant to protect the teachers’ lives from the insecurity posed by the community,” said Dr Macharia yesterday while also acknowledging the right of children.
“While we are aware of the rights of every child to education, and this is enshrined in the Constitution, which we all have to respect, we also considered the lives of the teachers as sacrosanct. We could not foresee a situation where the teachers could work in a community that is unfriendly to them and that posed a threat to them.”
On Wednesday last week, TSC transferred 17 teachers from the Mumias East institution when parents stormed the school and ejected the principal and the director of studies over poor results of last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary School.
Leaders from the Catholic Diocese of Kakamega, which is the sponsor, had camped at the TSC regional offices on Monday before travelling to head office in Nairobi.
Father Fredrick Lugonzo of Bumini Parish had earlier inthe day said the commission had agreed to meet the school management on how to restore normalcy.
“The initiative to seek an audience with the teachers’ employer has culminated into an agreement to have a meeting with them. As I speak to you (Tuesday) we are scheduled for the meeting at 2pm,” he said.
“We hope for a positive outcome that by the end of this week we will have the teachers back in our school.”
Lugonzo said learning had been severely affected as only 13 teachers employed by the Board of Management were left.
He said the development affected ongoing Form One admissions as some parents refused to enrol their students until they were assured of the return of the TSC teachers.
On Friday, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu termed the decision as insensitive and not in best interest of the children. Machogu said the school should be reopened within a week and the teachers moved back.
“I am therefore directing the Ministry of Education field officers and Boards of Management to move fast and work with the TSC and the Ministry of Interior to iron out the misunderstanding in some of the schools where parents invaded schools with a view of resumption of normal running activities as soon as possible which should not be able to go for more than one week,” he said.
Some local leaders had also appealed to the commission to reinstate the teachers at the troubled school.
While calling for the arrest of the parents who accosted the teachers, they asked the commission to consider the welfare of the children.