Kenya: delocalisation policy deepens teacher shortage

The Kenya National Union of Teachers has called on its government to stop the delocalisation policy that has forced more than a hundred teachers to leave the profession act to close the national teacher gap, and stop the current teacher appraisal system.

On the occasion of  the 10th African Confederation of Principals, convened from 6-10 August in Mombasa, Kenya, under the rallying theme “Educating Africa's children: Revalorising the teaching profession”, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) strongly deplored that over 100 teachers have left the profession following a government policy implemented last year that bars them from serving in their home counties.

The KNUT General Secretary Wilson Sossion indicated that the so-called delocalisation policy is “tearing apart many families of educators employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). Many teachers who were transferred have opted to resign or seek employment in county governments”.

“A number have opted to take early retirement, others have moved to county governments, and some are still thinking about what to do. Do not impose any policies, it is dangerous and worse than poison,” he condemned.

Strike

“We will strike on 1st September to oppose or rectify any policy formulated without our involvement which we feel could injure the teaching profession,” Sossion also warned.

He called on the Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Education Amina Mohamed, expected to officially close the continental conference, to call a crisis meeting with the teachers’ union to avert the impending strike which could paralyse school operations in the third term, when thousands of students are expected to sit for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams.

The KNUT leader insisted that there must be extensive consultation by public authorities of education trade unions and professional organisations before implementing any policy that might impact the education sector.

“We are questioning certain policies for which we have not been adequately involved. We want the promotion of teachers. It is a right, it is not negotiable or reducible,” he said.

Sossion went on to urge President Uhuru Kenyatta to recruit some 104,000 teachers to address the teacher shortage in primary and secondary schools.

Appraising teachers

The KNUT also wants the TSC to do away with teacher performance appraisal and development (TPAD).

“Teachers are against TPAD. A crucial issue globally, it cannot work and does not represent a good system to appraise teachers. Europe has dropped it, so who are we to adopt it in Africa? It is interfering with teaching and de-professionalising teaching,” Sossion emphasised.

He therefore called on the teachers’ employers to agree with teachers on an acceptable appraisal method.

“A closed appraisal system is good, but the open appraisal system is too painstaking, too extensive and the tools being used are hurting teachers. This time, we are on a policy war with the government, as we want to protect and preserve the freedom of this profession,” he concluded.

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