Korinko: No to interdictions, no to TSC

Mashuuru was among areas that had recorded the poorest participation during the training of teachers on CBC

 By Kajiado Star reporter

Elly Korinko, the executive secretary of the Kajiado branch of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), has called on parents and schools in the county to demand the reinstatement of teachers who were interdicted from employment.

The teachers were disciplined by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for failing to take part in training sessions organized for teachers on the new competency-based curriculum (CBC).

A total of 58 teachers from Mashuuru Sub-County, including 20 headteachers, were interdicted in early April for what TSC called “insubordination, negligence ad incitement”. Korinko claims that the local chapter of TSC is up to get him, since all the affected teachers come from his home area.

TSC, on the other hand, accuses Korinko of inciting the teachers against attending the training sessions organized by the Ministry of Education. In early May, Kajiado TSC County Director Jamal Ahmed told the media that the interdicted teachers “failed to participate in a three-day facilitation training of teachers on the competency-based curriculum held in all the five sub-counties in Kajiado.”

In a statement issued on May 14 following the interdictions, TSC said that Mashuuru was among areas that had recorded the poorest participation during the training of teachers on CBC, “as a result of incitement, disruption, and absenteeism.

“The action taken on some teachers for negligence of duty, incitement and absenteeism is, therefore, proportionate and in accordance with the code of regulation for teachers,” said the statement signed by Kihumba Kamotho, the commission’s head of corporate communications.

TSC added that some teachers had been posted to schools “with a significant deficit.”

“The Commission is, however, aware that some union officials are moving around inciting the teachers who have been posted not to report.

Apparently, this is intended to exaggerate and magnify the situation,” said the statement, adding that TSC would not hesitate to take action on any union officials inciting teachers.

Shortly afterwards, KNUT took TSC to court over the interdictions and on May 16, Justice Byram Ongaya, ordered the suspension of the interdiction of 221 teachers from around the country, including the 58 from Mashuuru.

Speaking to Kajiado Star on phone, Korinko now says TSC is in contempt of court for not reinstating the teachers. “Right now as we speak, there is no learning taking place in schools in Mashuuru,” he says. “No teachers have been posted to those schools.”

Korinko said teachers will not be intimidated by their employer. “Let TSC know that we are not taking this lightly.

It is very wrong for a government agency to create chaos and anarchy in our schools, for that is exactly what they are doing by refusing to reinstate the teachers.”

When contacted, Ahmed contradicted Korinko by saying that TSC was not in contempt of court as it has complied with the stay order. He however referred us to their legal department for issues to do with the court case.

Even as he calls for reinstatement of the affected teachers, Korinko is still opposed to the rolling out of CBC. “It is not that we are opposed to CBC as a whole. It is just that this is not the right time as our teachers are inadequately prepared to implement it,” he explained.

“At the moment, the whole exercise remains an illegality.”

“How can they ask teachers to implement the new curriculum without a policy framework? No sessional paper has been presented to Parliament,” said Korinko, adding that stakeholders in the education sector had not all been consulted.

“There has not been public participation on the same, which goes against the Constitution, which demands that all stakeholders must be consulted and involved in the process,” he added.

The new curriculum, he said, will affect future generations and how they will go about their lives and therefore, “due process needs to be followed.”

On Tuesday, June 4, the commission CEO Nancy Macharia appeared before the Senate Committee on Education to explain issues that led to the interdiction of more than 200 teachers, who included the 58 from Mashuuru.

The issue of Jacqueline Shanka, the head teacher of Osirai Primary School, who lost her twins after they were born prematurely after she was interdicted, was also raised.

The matter had been raised on the floor of the Senate by nominated Senator Judith Pareno, who hails from Mashuuru. Mary Seneta, another nominated senator from Kajiado, was also in the committee that questioned Macharia.

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