The Ministry of Education on Wednesday waded into a row between the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) over performance appraisals.
This happened as TSC maintained that appraisals for teachers as well as the delocalisation programme will go on as they are part of the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement signed by unions in 2016.
Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang asked teachers to embrace performance appraisals and contracts, noting that they have helped improve learning in public schools.
Dr Kipsang said that since the introduction of appraisals in 2015, performance in public schools had been rising.
“Students are able to read and write better while absenteeism of teachers is no longer a major problem. Teachers are also able to plan their lessons and complete the syllabus in time,” Dr Kipsang said.
He asked the teachers’ unions to stop their opposition to the system as it was introduced for the betterment of both teachers and learners.
TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia said Knut and Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) had signed the deal, which was subsequently registered at the Employment and Labour Relations Court as CA 197 of 2017 in November the same year.
“The CBAs were negotiated and signed by the concerned parties, signalling their acceptance of all the clauses therein. They are, therefore, legally binding to the parties who signed them,” Mrs Macharia said in a statement.
She said the CBAs provide that: “The commission shall develop an open performance appraisal system for teachers in its employment to strengthen supervision and to continuously monitor the performance of teachers in curriculum implementation at the institutional level.”
The commission separately accused the Labour ministry of a bias in handling the conciliation case between it and Knut.
“TSC has noted with a lot of concern the manner in which the Ministry of Labour has taken a biased approach in dealing with trade disputes lodged by Knut,” Mrs Macharia said in a letter dated March 26.
Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion on Wednesday vowed to oppose the appraisals and delocalisation, insisting that they are not part of the CBA.