TSC Warns Field Officers from Harassing Teachers
Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has instructed officers in counties performing disciplinary functions to fully adhere to the relevant laws in carrying their duties and at all-time be guided by the Code of Regulations for Teachers (CORT).
This is revealed in the Commission’s circular; Management of Discipline Function dated December 1, 2021 signed by Director of Field Services Mrs. Mary Rotich and addressed to all TSC County Directors.
In particular, the Commission has reminded the officers to observe and adhere to Discipline Processes and Procedures as stipulated in the CORT and its circulars, and for fair administrative action the Commission has directed the officers to observe the basic procedures of according the accused teacher a fair hearing during the investigation process as stipulated in the CORT.
The Commission has also stressed on the need to invite the teacher for the hearing of the discipline at least one month before the hearing date, using all possible modes of communication; and communicate discipline decisions within 28 days from the hearing date.
The CORT stipulates that a teacher on interdiction shall be invited for the hearing of the discipline case at least one month before the date of hearing which shall be sent through the teacher’s last known address, the address of the teacher’s next of kin, or hand delivery.
The Commission may send the invitation at the last station of work through the head of institution, through the contact or last known address provided by the teacher, through the permanent address provided by the teacher at the time of employment, through a telephone call to the teacher, through the teacher’s e-mail address, by a short text messages through the teacher’s mobile phone known to the Commission, through the Commission’s website, or any other mode that the Commission may use from time to time.
“The Commission, in managing the Discipline Function, is guided by the Provisions of the Code of Regulations for Teachers (CORT) and other relevant laws in ensuring that this function is implemented effectively and in an efficient manner… The purpose of this memo is to bring these pertinent requirements to your attention and to the officers performing the discipline function,” reads the Circular in part.
According to CORT 2015, the offences that may lead to disciplinary action of a teacher are immoral behavior, including but not restricted to sexual intercourse, sodomy, lesbianism and sexual harassment or flirtation; professional misconduct including but not restricted to negligence of duty, lateness to duty, chronic absenteeism, desertion, incitement and insubordination.
Others include infamous conduct including but not restricted to drunkenness, fighting and conduct or behavior which in the opinion of the Commission contradicts the spirit and tenor of Chapter six of the Constitution; forgery, mismanagement and embezzlement of public funds, and any other act or conduct that is incompatible with the teaching profession.
According to the CORT, Serious offence includes offences that attract capital punishment under the law; or other acts or omissions which in the opinion of the Commission grossly offend public policy and interest thereby making the concerned teacher unsuitable to continue serving in the Teaching Service.
“A teacher charged with an economic crime or serious offence shall be suspended from service and will be entitled to one half of the basic salary,
with full house and medical allowances with effect from the date of the charge,” reads the CORT in part.
In October this year, the Commission de-registered 43 teachers for various professional misconducts and warns private and public schools against hiring them.
in a Gazette Notice dated October 22, 2021 TSC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Nancy Macharia said the affected teachers will immediately cease from being teachers.
“In exercise of powers conferred by section 30 (1) (e) of the Teachers Service Commission Act, the Commission wishes to notify the public that the persons whose names are specified in the Schedule herein below have been removed from the Register of Teachers,” Macharia said in the notice.
Macharia also warned school heads against employing those removed from the register as by doing so, they risk being jailed.
“It is against the law to employ in any school a person not being a registered teacher and the school heads found doing that shall be liable to a fine of not less than Sh100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both,” she added in the notice.
In May 2021, another 52 teachers lost their job after being de-registered over indiscipline cases while in November 2020 another 50 were fired over the same.