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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 13 April 2015

HEAD TEACHERS NOW REPORT TO KAIMENYI




More than 30,000 heads of primary and secondary schools will now be under the direct control of the Education Cabinet Secretary.
On Wednesday, Prof Jacob Kaimenyi gazetted the controversial Basic Education Regulations, 2014, despite opposition by the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) and teachers’ unions.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) were opposed to the regulations, arguing that they are unconstitutional.
Prof Kaimenyi will have powers to appoint the school heads as his agents. He will also have the powers to sack them if they fail to perform. The heads will be accounting officers and lead educators at their institutions.
The school heads will also be team leaders in the implementation of the ministry’s policies and programmes at the institutions they are in charge of.
In addition, they will be the primary initiators of policy proposals for consideration by county education boards and the Cabinet Secretary.
A head teacher will serve for a term of five years, and will be eligible for reappointment for a second and final third term. No individual will hold the position for more than 15 years.
The regulations also bar a person from serving in the position for more than two terms at the same institution.
Those to be appointed will have to be practising teachers registered with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). They can be serving quality assurance assessors.
INTERDICTED
They will also be required to have served for at least 20 years, appointed as lead educators by the TSC and undertaken at least a six-week course in education administration or its equivalent in the past three years.
“Where the head teacher or principal of the institution has been interdicted or dismissed by the employer, the head teacher ceases to be the accounting officer for the institution.
“The Cabinet Secretary shall immediately appoint a replacement,” states the gazetted regulations.
Last week, CIC Chairman Charles Nyachae, in a letter to Knut and copied to Prof Kaimenyi, warned that any purported publication of the proposed regulations before the CIC, the Office of the Attorney-General and the Kenya Law Reform Commission finalise reviewing them would be a violation of the Constitution.
“The proposed regulations are subject to review by the CIC before publication in exercise of the constitutional mandate under Section 5(6] of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution,” said Mr Nyachae.
According to Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion, the gazetted rules will plunge the education sector into a crisis. He warned of legal action.
“The union will fight to protect the gains made in the education sector,” said Mr Sossion.
According to Prof Kaimenyi, the gazettement of the regulations will now operationalise the Basic Education Act, 2013.
He said the ministry has been involved in wide consultations on the operationalisation of the law.
“We have spent a considerable length of time discussing the regulations,” said Prof Kaimenyi.
There is also the Basic Education (Amendment) Bill by Education Committee Vice-Chairman Julius Melly that is before the National Assembly that seeks to give powers to sponsors, who should be consulted by the TSC before appointing a person to head their institutions.