Last week Teachers’ Service Commission asked some primary school heads to explain the poor performance of pupils in their schools based on the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE).
Further, the commission is seeking explanations on strategies adopted by the classroom teachers to improve performance in their respective subjects of specialization following poor results in national exams. Failure of which will attract punishment of these teachers. TSC also want these teachers to explain why they should not be punished for poor performance.
The number of candidates, who scored over 400 marks in the 2020 KCPE dropped too 8,091 from 9,673 pupils in 2019 owing to subdued performancein science and languages.
Further TSC has issued show-cause ok letters to more than 200 principalswho have continuously siphoned millions from unsuspecting parents has caused panic across the affected institutions.
“A number of teachers have received show- cause letters and as investigationscontinue,many more will receive the letters,” said a senior TSC staff.
Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) chairman Mr Kahi Indimuli distanced himself from the issue saying it is a personal responsibility for the principals.
“Principals who have flouted government directives will carry their own cross because this was communicated to them and they should have made necessary adjustments” said Indimuli.
The ministry of education also ordered county directors to report schools that are charging illegal fees with immediate effect. Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha had on 16 June 2021 issued revised fees guidelines to schools.
Among other reasons why teachers have been punished in the past include having canal knowledge of the learners, getting involved in financial impropriety, absconding of duty among others.
The disciplinary process in many occasions starts with a show cause why letter whereby a teacher is supposed to respond within a specified period of time.
The move to punish teachers has however faced alot of criticism. Some schools are poorly resourced. This has an implication on perfomance because if learners don’t have enough books and other learning materials, teachers have little to do.
Also it’s difficult to measure productivity of a teacher using exams which are done by a third party.
Most of these learners have other external influences like teenage pregnancy which affects results.
The playfield isn’t level because some schools admit learners with high entry behavior. Others aren’t however lucky as the caliber of learners they admit isn’t that good.
If learners fail exams because the teachers didn’t cover the syllabus due to absenteeism, then teachers have cases to answer. Otherwise, it’s unfair for TSC to punish teachers for the failure of learners to grasp content.
This trend has seen some teachers stagnate in job groups as they don’t have results to table before TSC panels during interviews.