Hello Jambo News, am a stressed Kenyan teacher and I feel comfortable to speak my mind through your platform. Kindly allow me register my displeasure in the teaching profession. Do not reveal my identity.
The last few years have been catastrophic to the Kenyan teacher. There has been increased tenacity in the release of circulars by both the ministry of Education & TSC; leave alone introduction of draconian laws. If this practice continues, unabated, then the teachers will be the most demotivated, demoralised & disenfranchised work force; worldwide.
Banning of school based studies
he TSC restricted teachers craving for higher studies from furthering their studies. The Commission directed school heads to profile teachers on the School based programmes; with an aim of taking disciplinary action against them. Flimsy arguments have been fronted by TSC; to warrant suspension of such programmes. In a circular, the commission claims that teachers should seek for study leaves before proceeding to such programmes. That teachers enrolled in such programmes will not perform optimally while at school; as they would spend quality time doing own assignments, ostensibly using school resources. This is retrogressive and uncalled for.
Forced procurement of the AON Insurance Medical Scheme
This is another humongous elephant in the room. The mention of AON makes some teachers to shiver tremendously. Many teachers have suffered in the hands of the inhumane AON staff; who take long to authorize Medication. Many a times, teachers have either dug deeper into their pockets to cater for medical expenses; even after forfeiting their medical allowances to the AON brokers. It is devastating when teachers suffer at Medical facilities and Infact, some have lost lives due to AON’s ineptitude.
AON is a scandal, bigger than both Anglo Leasing and NYS, combined. It is a cash cow for those who matter in this country. The medical allowance slashed from teachers’ pay is unfortunately not reflected on the pay slips. Something needs to be done; and fast. The Bliss clinics contracted by AON to offer medical services are a big time joke. Some one is living in denial; forcing the AON scheme on teachers against wishes of many is both barbaric and demeaning.
The invent of TPAD(Teacher Performance Appraisal & Development Tool)
This has turned teachers to be more of secretaries than tutors. Filling of an array of manual forms in the 21st century is archaic; when we should be embracing technology! This is done alongside Teacher preparation for classroom instruction among other professional duties. It becomes more hectic when the same ‘poor’ must spend unprecedented time behind computers in the name of uploading the marks and data to the otherwise inefficient online TPAD platform; to beat deadlines. Schools without computers are hardest hit! Teachers have to pay for such services at distant cyber cafes. An overhaul of this Appraisal system is, thus, desired.
The freezing of promotion of teachers after attaining higher qualifications
This is devitalizing. Teachers who have invested in higher education with hopes of getting promotions have been met by rude shocks; after their pleas to be upgraded by TSC fall on ‘deaf’ ears! Promotions of work force after attaining higher qualifications is a common practice worldwide, in the Labour sector, and other local government departments. TSC should move with speed and ensure such teachers are promoted; and stop giving wobbling excuses. The TSC is keen on denting teachers’ Earnings, even further, by ensuring they pay for proficiency courses (read TPD & EMI).
KNEC directive to bar examiners from coaching candidates
And now, the Ministry of Education has ordered KNEC trained examiners not to provide technical services to candidates. This comes along other restrictions conferred upon teachers. Teachers no longer have breathing space. And when caught on the wrong side of the Laws and acts, they are shoved and left dejected. It is sad for those who invigilate National exams. A failure by an apparatus to function properly occasioning delay in exam execution may land a teacher in hot soup. It is needless to mention that most of these teachers are forcefully recruited to invigilate the exams!
Teaching is progressively becoming unattractive. Those in it feel they should leave. But leaving isn’t easy. They would rather hang on. Someone somewhere should hear the grievances raised by teachers and act, very fast!!!