An official of a teachers’ union has demanded that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) reconsiders its decision to transfer 80 teachers in Isiolo County, saying most of them are elderly and have health issues.
Isiolo branch Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Executive Secretary Dade Boru Wednesday demanded that age, gender and health conditions of the affected teachers be considered.
Mr Boru said about 80 per cent of the teachers who were transferred were women aged above 50 years and asked TSC to instead transfer younger teachers.
“Transferring women teachers aged 50 years and above and those with health complications is simply torturing them. We want the process reviewed so that the old and sick teachers are allowed to continue working within Isiolo Central,” said Mr Boru.
He further accused the teachers’ employer of bias in the process, noting that no young teacher had been transferred.
Addressing journalists in Isiolo town, the Knut official claimed that numerous appeals by the union’s members to have the transfers relooked have been futile as the County TSC Director Alex Cheruiyot engaged them in cat and mouse games.
The unionist maintained that the affected teachers will only travel to their new workstations after the commission listens to their grievances.
“Our teachers will not move to the new schools unless the director sits down with them and listens to their prayers,” he maintained.
The union’s Women Representative Nuria Mbarak said most of the transferred teachers had previously served in far-flung areas and should now be allowed to take care of their families and ageing parents.
While terming the transfers as pure witch-hunt, she said they will affect performance of schools in Isiolo Central as the teachers have not been replaced.
“Some of the schools have lost between five to seven teachers which will affect performance. We are wondering why they are not being replaced considering that schools in Isiolo Central are the ones with a high population compared to those in remote areas,” said Ms Mbarak.
She said the union is ready to sit down with TSC officials with a view of reaching an amicable solution to the standoff.
Isiolo Branch Knut Treasurer Harriet Kathure lashed out at the TSC director for insisting that all the affected teachers comply with the directive within the shortest time possible so that learning in first term is not affected.
NO HUMAN FACE
“The transfers lack a human face and the director should know that teachers cannot deliver while working in fear. Let him respect them and listen to their grievances,” said Ms Kathure.
The TSC director earlier said some of the schools in Isiolo Central had more than 15 teachers while those in remote areas had only five.
While maintaining that there is no turning back, Mr Cheruiyot said learners in far-flung areas need teachers just like those in Isiolo Central, further noting that the transfers will help in improving performance.
Isiolo North MP Hassan Odha lauded the move but appealed to TSC to consider pleas from the ageing, disabled and sick teachers, arguing that moving them to far-flung areas will inconvenience and worsen their conditions.