- This is according to Siaya County Executive Secretary of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Sam Opondo.
- Speaking at the Siaya County KUPPET Branch Annual General Meeting on Saturday, Opondo said that compelling the tutors to teach primary school classes goes against their job descriptions.
Some newly recruited Junior Secondary School (JSS) teachers have been compelled by their station heads to teach primary school classes.
This is according to Siaya County Executive Secretary of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Sam Opondo.
Speaking at the Siaya County KUPPET Branch Annual General Meeting on Saturday, Opondo said that compelling the tutors to teach primary school classes goes against their job descriptions.
"In some schools, the JSS teachers are compelled to teach primary school classes and subjects that they have not been trained to teach," he said.
KUPPET noted that in a number of institutions, the relationship between the heads of institutions and the JSS teachers is quite frosty; a matter that has been linked to an inferiority complex on the part of non-graduate head teachers.
The majority of the newly recruited JSS teachers are graduates who, under the 8-4-4 curriculum, would have been posted to teach secondary schools.
"Many of us are a frustrated lot. We highly suspect that the heads with P1 qualifications are suffering from an inferiority complex," a JSS teacher who attended the AGM told The Star confidentially.
"Whereas we urge our JSS colleagues to maintain utmost professionalism and decorum, we urge the heads of institutions to also stand out as epitomes of professionalism, administrative tranquillity and order," Opondo said.
He informed the heads that JSS teachers are not "packages of trouble" but teachers who "must be facilitated and supported to teach and render services effectively".
The Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms has since proposed that heads of Pre-Primary, Primary and Junior schools must be graduates.
Opondo further noted that the Junior schools are currently understaffed and most teachers have had to handle more than 10 subjects in a day.
As such, he asserted, it is a violation of the JSS teachers' rights to be forced to teach some more subjects in primary school when they are already struggling to cope with the huge task in JSS.
The KUPPET Siaya Branch underscored that most JSS institutions have very poor infrastructure.
"Practicals are literally impossible to carry out. JSS teachers do not have furniture, stationery and lab equipment, among others," said Opondo.
Yet, he continued, there is poor or no facilitation at all for teachers who conduct out-of-school activities.
"Some schools give JSS teachers sh50 whenever they go out of school on official duty. This is unacceptable, and we will be visiting our JSS colleagues across the county starting next week," Opondo said.
Another JSS teacher who spoke on condition of anonymity said that he has had to trek with his students more than three kilometres to and from a senior secondary school where they undertake their practicals.
During this, he has to ensure the safety of all of them; a task he noted borders on persecution.
Vivian, not her real name, was initially working as a Board of Management teacher at a school in Alego Usonga Sub County and was posted as an intern to teach a JSS class in Bondo Subcounty in August 2023.
"I currently teach so many subjects and go without lunch almost every day. Here in primary (where JSS is domiciled) is like a desert," said Vivian.
Siaya County KUPPET chairman Robert Ouko urged all their members to knock at their office doors anytime they are faced with challenges.
"If at any point you encounter professional challenges... do not hesitate to consult with our dedicated team. Kuppet is power," said Ouko.