KNUT secretary general Wilson Sossion had already voiced the teachers’ frustrations already and had issued a warning that teachers would go on strike in September. The frustrations were as a result of the delocalization programme-among other policies set by TSC-which has seen teachers, mostly school heads and principals transferred to other schools, away from their home regions, in a bid to improve the education sector.
The policy, which was laid out, by TSC has received its fair share of criticism, with some leaders including Sossion, citing it as a cause for the rampant school arson cases that rocked schools countrywide.
One of the reasons against the policy is family disintegration. Earlier this year, Sossion said it amounted to intimidation and a perfected form of workplace bullying as teachers may be housed in hostile environments. It’s not puzzling, therefore, to witness relaxed sighs among teachers after President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday called for a review of the policy. Speaking at the Catholic Schools Principals Association Conference, President Kenyatta admitted that the programme has created challenges, “The delocalization programme has created some unforeseen challenges that have in some instances affected some teachers’ families,” he said.
The call to further review the policy may pave the way for further talks between teachers’ unions and TSC, overseen by the Ministry of Education, and may also pour cold water on the simmering strike threat which was set to kick off in September.
It’s a great call by the President and one which will ensure the fabric of the family remains intact, given that its the sole foundation for all types of excellence, whether its education or societal. It’s inconceivable to trade principals or dislodge keys to success in schools, that have proven successful over a long period of time, with the sole aim of improving education and effectiveness in the sector. Parents, mostly, may have been worried when some principals changed turf, keeping in mind that the sustained cultures in schools may act as a major factor in the choice of schools.
What must be noted, however, is that the delocalization policy shouldn’t be an excuse for students to burn dormitories and fan indiscipline cases. Students, on their part, should communicate their frustrations in more diplomatic ways. It remains to be seen whether the policy will be given a thorough review or whether the trend will continue, but as the adage goes, ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’