Unions warn MPs against interfering with teacher recruitment

Teachers unions have asked education stakeholders not to politicise the planned teacher recruitment.

The unions maintain that the employment of teachers should be left to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association chairman Kahi Indimuli says no one should usurp the powers of TSC. He said some MPs were scheming to influence the hiring.

“On recruitment of teachers, we can give views but TSC should be allowed to play its role. If we divert and start introducing other players in the process then we are courting trouble,” Indimuli said.

He posed: ‘‘We have heard some people being asked to carry ID and voter’s cards. If my voter’s card doesn’t show that I am from a particular area, does it mean I will not be considered for employment?’’

‘‘If we reach that stage then we will start seeing scenes we previously saw where teachers from certain areas were not allowed to participate in interviews.’’

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) chairman Omboko Milemba called on TSC to ensure the hiring of teachers is conducted professionally.

‘‘There is suspicion that there will be favouritism. We ask the commission to be fair because we want the to handle the matter without external interference,’’ Milemba said.

He urged the commission to make public the list of successful applicants when the process concludes. ‘‘At the end of the process, he public will be satisfied if we know the number of teachers employed,” Milemba said. 

The Kuppet boss urged the teachers’ employer to streamline the hiring of interns, saying some of them were being “sneaked in at the expense of those who left college several years ago.”

‘‘Interns are strategically placed there to get employment at the expense of teachers who qualify and work under Boards of Management. BOM teachers should be given first priority. If we don’t fix the issue of intern teachers we will be killing the system then politicians will hijack it,’’ Milemba said.

Indimuli cautioned the public not to expect much with 35,550 teaching vacancies. He called for a careful balance, saying some regions needed more teachers than others.  

‘‘We have regions well-endowed with the teaching force; there are those with few. We need to tread carefully and allow the TSC to manage the process. Let qualified Kenyans be interviewed wherever there is an opportunity,’’ he said. 

Milemba, at the same time, urged the government to improve the salaries of teachers to motivate them.

‘‘The President should ensure teachers are well paid. The last time teachers got pay increments was more than eight years,’’ he said.

Milemba also scoffed at TSC for allegedly not being honest with the teachers’ promotion terming it betrayal. 

He, at the same time, said the majority of teachers have stagnated in the same job group.

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