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'OVERSTEPS MANDATE'

TSC micromanaging schools — Kuppet

Union also says cartels control funds at Education ministry but backs CS Magoha

In Summary

• Official cautions against interfering in teachers' work

• Says TSC has taken over the activity fund — Sh600 million 

TSC CEO Nancy Macharia during the launch of Teacher Professional Development at Crowne Plaza on April 16, 2018.
TSC CEO Nancy Macharia during the launch of Teacher Professional Development at Crowne Plaza on April 16, 2018.
Image: COLLINS LANGAT

A teachers union has accused the Teachers Service Commission of interfering in the management of schools.

The Kenya Post-Primary Education Teachers on Wednesday said the commission wants to micromanage all the funds sent to schools.

“I don’t know what their interest is. They have taken over the activity fund, which, I understand, amounts to Sh600 million,” deputy secretary general Moses Nthurima said.

He also faulted the Education ministry, saying its hand is deep into the capitation fund. The unionist said teachers are being undermined despite their hard work.

“The next battle we are going to have is with the ministry. It is as if they want to come into the classroom and start teaching,” Nthurima said.

He cautioned against interfering in teachers' work, saying they have the mandate to deliver on the curriculum, whether in class or in extra-curricular activities.

The ministry has been bypassing its own audit department, which is mandated to find out whether funds given to schools have been properly used, and now wants to authorise the use of funds given to schools. The union has interpreted this as an attempt to create confusion around that money so the ministry "eats it".

“Why do you want to take money away from capitation and then start running up and down that you are managing co-curricular activities. We are not going to accept that.” Nthurima said.

He said racketeers in the ministry are out to "fill their own stomachs" at the expense of more than 17 million schoolchildren in the country.

Some ministry officials have been influencing the purchase of textbooks and some schools have been oversupplied, raising eyebrows, he said.

 

“The CS was here yesterday, almost crying that he is being sabotaged. We are calling upon the government to rein in cartels in the ministry,” the unionist said.

He termed it inexplicable that the ministry must authorise the use of the Sh6,000 channelled to schools for infrastructure.

“If the money is delivered for a child, let it be put under the management of the board, who are appointees of the ministry.” 

Nthurima appealed to CS George Magoha to deal with the matter urgently.

On Tuesday, Magoha said he does not fully trust his subordinates because they have been lying to him. He revealed that at one time he was given a false report, which he read in Parliament.

This has made him "act like a submarine, often going under the surface to try and find out the happenings on the ground myself".

Nthurima said the CS should be given time and support to manage the ministry and purge rogue officers.

(Edited by F'Orieny)