The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) agents in the Counties have threatened disciplinary action on teachers who will abscond duties to attend IEBC training.
According to some officials they said primary school teachers have an important CBC national assessment to attend to and that by attending the training teachers will put to jeopardy lives of learners.
Others have however made it clear that school days are duty days for teachers and that they should be in school attending to learners.
During elections many teachers take part in IEBC temporary jobs as Presiding Officers (PO’s), Deputy Presiding Officers (DPO’s) and Clerks.
The electoral body plans to train the Presiding Officers, Deputy Presiding Officers and the Clerks ahead of August 9 elections.
IEBC will start training Presiding Officers and Deputy Presiding Officers early next week. The training will start from 31st July to 3rd August 2022.
However from 1st August to 3rd August it will be school days and should teachers attend the training this will conflict with their duties.
The training of Clerks will be from 5th August to 6th August 2022. Learners will still be in school on 5th August according to school calendar.
In some Sub Counties warning has been issued verbally to teachers while others like Rachuonyo North teachers have received it in writings.
“It has come to my attention that some Heads of Institutions are releasing teachers to attend anauthorized IEBC training during working days. ….No teacher should attend any training during working days without express permission from TSC,” read a memo by Robert Rutto, Rachuonyo North TSC Sub County Director.
He further put to notice school heads who will release teachers for the IEBC training that they will be culpable.
This is not the first time teachers are at loggerheads with their employer for absconding duties to attend unofficial programs.
When IEBC invited applicants last month for interviews as Presiding Officers, Deputy Presiding Officers and Clerks teachers attended yet it happened during school days.
Teachers attended for the interviews despite warning from County Directors, Sub County Directors, Curriculum Support Officers and Human Resource Officers.
TSC then issued a statement that it has not barred teachers from attending the interviews Through its official Facebook and Twitter handles TSC asked teachers to dismiss such news.
This contradicted with what TSC officials at the Counties and Sub Counties passed to teachers clearly indicating TSC Upper Hill officials have no issues with teachers taking part in the IEBC temporary jobs.
The Commission has however being warning teachers against taking part in active political engagements.
In Circular number 14/2020 dated 1/12/2020 the Commission prohibits teachers against taking part in any active political engagements while still in service of the Commission; and further requiring them to refrain from:
(1) holding office in a political party;
(2) engaging in a political activity that may compromise or be seen to compromise the political neutrality of the office they hold;
(3) publicly indicating support for or opposition to any political party or candidate in an election; and
(4) engaging in activities of any political party or candidate, or act as an agent of a political party or candidate in an election.
TSC CEO Dr Nancy Macharia says in congruence with the spirit of national values and good governance under the Constitution which includes impartiality and political neutrality, it is vital for all employees of the Commission to adhere to strict observance of the law in respect hereof by abstaining from taking part in political engagements.
In this regard, she ordered all employees of the Commission to shun partisan political activities while in active public service.
Macharia says any employee who currently holds and/or engages in political activities is in violation of the law and is liable to disciplinary action.
She advised such an employee to immediately resign from such office.
She further says any breach of the directions of the Circular shall result in disciplinary action.
On there part teachers say they are driven to take IEBC jobs because of high prices of food and general inflation. Many teachers say they are unable to attend to their duties due to low salaries which are already committed to loans.