Standoff looms between teachers and government over new regulations

A major friction is brewing between teachers and their employer – Teachers Service Commission (TSC) – after it released new guidelines and regulations whose goal is to keep in check the tutors as they deliver their services.

The new rules were introduced on Monday, June 20, during day one of the 2016 Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association conference in Mombasa.

The new set out guidelines touch on matters ranging from teachers declaring their wealth after they leave service to determining how and when they should send students home when need arises.

Aspiring teachers will also be required be registered and licensed.

Thanks to Code of Regulations for Teachers, the registered teachers will be required to renew their certificates after undertaking a continuous professional development programme.

Teachers who go against the new guidelines will be discontinued from service.

Also, teachers are barred from engaging in any political activities include being agents of political parties or contesting for any political seat.

Teachers will also be required to not send students away before 6 a.m or after 12 noon unless it is an emergency scenario.

The new regulations have also been crafted to guide on how teachers relate with students and stops them from making a request or exert pressure on a student for sexual activity or favours.

These regulations are not only meant for government run institutions but also touch on privately-owned ones as it determines who such schools should employ as a teacher as they provide that any teacher found breaking any of the set rules should not be employed by either public or private schools.

But unsurprisingly, the teachers have already objected the guidelines saying that the government is interfering with their constitutional rights.

While speaking on Monday, June 20, during the conference in Mombasa, leaders of teachers unions dismissed the new regulations and said they will object them outright.

“Just hold on. We did not come here to be given library books,” Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary General Wilson Sossion said as quoted by the Daily Nation.

His words were mirrored by the union’s national executive council member Dan Aloo who said teachers are not thieves and have declared their wealth through KRA.

He rubbished the new set out guidelines on grounds that they are infringing on their constitutional rights.

Oloo said: “Why audit us, why audit our salaries? We are not thieves. We have declared our wealth everywhere in the P9 forms and many more documents. This is infringing on our constitutional rights and we cannot accept it at all.”

This new development is expected to start off another fiery exchange between teachers and their employer and comes at a time when the two sides are yet to agree on a salary increment as directed by the industrial court.

Back in September 2015, teachers in all public schools across the country embarked on a month long strike to demand a pay hike.