High Court has ruled that Teachers Service Commission (TSC) cannot be held accountable for the actions of teachers in private schools. The ruling was made in a case seeking a ban on corporal punishment.
According to the ruling made by Justice Christine Meoli although the commission regulates teaching practice in Kenya, parents with children in private institutions cannot attach liability for what happens to their children on TSC.
“In this case, it is doubtful that vicarious liability can be imputed upon the commission for the wrongful acts employed by a private school,” ruled justice Meoli.
The case was filed three years ago by a parent code-named CAK seeking compensation after two teachers allegedly beat her son.
The high court dismissed the case and now the aggrieved parent has vowed to head to the Court of Appeal. CAK had asked the court to order ban on caning in schools.
The case was filed against three teachers; Emily Kulola, Ann Wanjiru and Peterson Gichuki as well as board of management of ACK Thika Memorial Church School and TSC.
Teachers’ employer urged the court to dismiss the case. It stated that there are no laws giving it oversight powers on private schools.
In a reply filed before the High Court, Viola Kihara, TSC’s deputy director in charge of discipline, argues that although the regulator requires that all teachers must be in its register, its role is limited to only de-registering those teachers who have been forwarded by private schools boards over discipline.
In 2012 the government banned corporal punishment in schools and drew up a law to protect children against abuse. But punishment of students through such measures as kneeling down, forced manual work, caning, slapping, pinching and pulling of ears is still common.