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Kewota rejects Knut's proposal for ministry to manage teachers

Wednesday August 14 2019

Kewota CEO Benta Opande 

Kewota Chief Executive Officer Benta Opande gestures during a media briefing at the association's office at Nexgen Mall in Nairobi on August 14, 2019. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

FAITH NYAMAI
By FAITH NYAMAI
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The Kenya Women Teachers Association (Kewota) on Wednesday opposed and distanced itself from Knut's push for to have teachers placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Education.

Kewota Secretary-General Benta Opande said the push by the Kenya National Union of Teachers is ill-advised so female teachers should join hands and reject it.

Ms Opande also said the proposal to strip the Teachers Service Commission of its constitutional mandate is unacceptable.

“The quality of education in our schools influences the quality of upbringing and teaching received by future generations. The TSC has demonstrated that it remains a bulwark in education and training of persons entering the teaching service,” he said.

“Any changes could affect the quality of teaching,” she also said, adding continuity is key to improvement of education standards in Kenya.

DUPLICATION

Last week, Knut presented a proposal to the Building Bridges Initiative for teachers to be directly managed by the ministry, not their employer.

In its proposal to the task force chaired by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji, the union notes that teacher’s day to day activities such as curriculum implementation, supervision, quality assurance and assessment fall directly under the State Department of Basic Education.

“Placing the commission under the watch of the department will greatly assist in addressing duplication of functions and, more importantly, reduce the cost of running the ministry,” reads the proposal.

The union notes that with reduced costs, more money will be available for the hiring of more teachers.

DISRUPTIONS

Knut also wants the TSC left with the partial mandate of recruiting and employing registered teachers, promoting and transferring them and managing the payroll under strict supervision of the National Treasury.

However, Kewota said the autonomy of the TSC from the ministry shields it from disruptions that could be occasioned by structural or personnel changes at the ministry.

Chairperson Dorothy Muthoni said founders of the teachers' union, "in their own wisdom", fought for the TSC's independence from the government and politics.

“Kewota unreservedly supports the existence of the commission as an independent commission as envisaged by the founders of the union in 1968,” she said.