Economy

TSC now defends mass transfers of school principals

wesonga

Knut Mumias branch secretary-general John Wesonga. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The teachers employer has defended recent mass transfer of school heads, saying it is legally mandated to do so and that the tutors had committed to work anywhere in the country on their hiring.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) told the High Court it is constitutionally empowered to transfer any teacher employed in public schools to promote equitable distribution and optimal utilisation of tutors.

“The commission reserves a regulatory discretion to transfer a teacher to any station at any time regardless of a transfer request or not. All teachers are well aware that they can be transferred at any time to serve in any part of the country,” said the TSC in court papers.

The commission was responding to a suit filed by Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Mumias branch secretary-general John Wesonga, who is also Knut National Executive Council member.

The TSC developed a Code of Regulations for Teachers 2015, which is an integral part of the 2017/2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed by the tutor’s unions and registered at the Employment and Labour Relations Court.

Mr Wesonga claimed that the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education issued a directive to the TSC on December 22, 2017 to immediately effect mass transfers of secondary school principals across the country in an unreasonable, arbitrary and irrational fashion without due regard to the laid down policy on such transfers.

“A number of the affected secondary school principals have established families within the surrounding of their current stations and the arbitrary actions by TSC will greatly affect their family obligations,” said Mr Wesonga in court papers.

READ: Knut seeks Labour ministry help in teacher transfers row

He alleged that Education CS interfered with the independence of the TSC.

The input by the affected teachers was also not taken into account.

He wants the decision to effect mass transfers stopped until the laid down policy guidelines and legal considerations are complied with.

The TSC, however, said the orders being sought have been overtaken by events as the principals have handed over and taken over in their new stations.

The case will be heard on March 20.