Teachers and their unions have called for an inclusive and comprehensive revision of performance appraisals.
They say the process is cumbersome and diverts teachers’ attention from learners.
But while the Kenya National Union of Teachers is demanding the withdrawal of the performance appraisal and contract documents from schools, Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers, Kenya Primary Schools Headteachers Association and Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association are calling for a revision of the system, saying it subjects teachers to a lot of out-of-class paperwork.
Knut secretary General Wilson Sossion said the system diverted the attention of teachers from learners “in order fill unnecessary paperwork which is not reflected in national examination results”.
Mr Sossion added that the system was a major contributor of poor performance in national examinations.
“Teachers spend more time in cyber cafes looking for the forms and filling them instead of remaining in school with learners,” Mr Sossion said.
When launching the system, the Teachers Service Commission said it would strengthen supervision and continuously monitor implementation of the curriculum by tutors.
Performance contract documents are used for the purpose of appraising heads while appraisal and development documents are designed to evaluate classroom teachers.
“Due to these demands by the employer, teachers cannot complete the syllabus in time,” Mr Sossion said.
The complaint over appraisals has been taken to the Labour ministry by Knut.
“Expert reports, corroborated by information provided by teachers and quality assurance and standards officers, show that there are drawbacks which TSC never envisaged when framing the appraisal documents,” Mr Sossion said.
Traditional performance appraisals required headteachers or TSC county directors’ perception of tutors’ performance, making the evaluation subjective.
Knut said the appraisals should be based on data supported by measurable behaviour and results within the performance control.
The union added that teachers were not opposed to the system “as it is recommended by the International Labour Organisation for career development, enhancing education and encouraging excellent performance and productivity”.
“The system is discriminative, subjective and degrading,” Mr Sossion said.
“There are modern and better ways of evaluating a teacher on how to prepare schemes of work, lesson plans and monitoring school attendance.”
Kuppet Secretary-General Akello Misori said though the system had brought changes in schools, it had made teachers to spend a lot of time filling appraisal forms.
Mr Misori called on TSC and the Education ministry to involve teachers and other stakeholders in revising the appraisal tools.
He said the appraisals should not be used to instill fear in teachers.
The Kuppet boss added that poor internet network in schools meant teachers found it hard to download the forms.
“However, poor network should not be the reason to dismiss the system,” he said.
Kessha chairman Kahi Indimuli told the Nation that the system had improved learning in schools.
However, he also urged TSC to rework the system “since it has given principals and teachers a lot of paperwork”.
“If the paperwork can be reduced to allow teachers to spend more time with learners, it will be a perfect tool for monitoring and self-assessment,” Mr Indimuli said.
Kepsha chairman Shem Ndolo said the system was not well formulated before being rolled out.
“We back it but the paperwork should be reduced and streamlined,” he said.
However, TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia says it is the most effective assessment system and has improved curriculum delivery.