A supremacy war is brewing between the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and the Ministry of Education on who has a say on issues affecting teachers and how they should be trained.
The silent war is threatening the education sector with each party trying to exert its authority and the war now appears to be coming out following the latest advisory by Attorney General Kihara Kariuki on the functions of each agency.
Last month, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed directed TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia to admit students with lower grades to teachers training colleges.
She went ahead to instruct Mrs Macharia to bring to the attention of the content of the letter to all TTCs principals.
However, TSC did not reply to her letter and instead sought the advice of Mr Kariuki in a letter dated November 7.
TSC kept the CS in the dark on the content of the letter which was only copied to the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and National Assembly’s Education Committee Chairman Julius Melly.
But while replying to the letter, Mr Kariuki copied in Ms Mohamed.
Mr Kariuki said unlike in the previous constitution, in the current dispensation, the Cabinet secretary cannot give directions to the TSC.
“The current constitutional and statutory framework is clearly a departure from the past. The Constitution itself clothes the commission in the garb of independence by declaring that the commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority,” said Mr Kariuki.
He said as a constitutional commission, TSC also has other general functions bestowed upon it by the Constitution.
He went on: “The constitution is the supreme law of the land. Therefore, in accordance with Article 2(4) thereof, any law, including customary law, which is inconsistent with the Constitution is void to the extent of the inconsistency and any act or omission in contravention of the Constitution is invalid.”
The advisory is a blow to Ms Mohamed who was determined to have her way following objections by TSC on the new admission policy.