The Kenya National Union of teachers (KNUT) and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) officials from West Pokot County have castigated officials from the Ministry of Education in the County over alleged discrimination, favoritism, corruption and nepotism in the ongoing teachers recruitment exercise citing that many local teachers have been denied the chance.
They said the County is facing a serious teacher’s shortage whereby those being recruited have been exported from other Counties at the expense of slots meant for locals.
The Union’s officials are now calling for affirmative action in teacher’s employment, fairness and transparency in the ongoing teacher’s recruitment.
Speaking to the press conference on Saturday in Kapenguria, West Pokot KNUT Secretary Martin Sembelo and Kuppet Secretary Alfred Kemuto noted that West Pokot is a marginalized County and facing a serious teacher’s shortage.
“People come and take jobs and after a few years seek transfer to their respective home Counties leaving behind a big problem of understaffing in both Primary and Secondary,” said Sembelo.
Mr. Sembelo noted that for many years, education officials have been giving West Pokot County slots to their cronies and relatives from outside.
“We need all the vacancies allocated in our County. We now have enough resource man power in the County. We don’t want a scenario where graduants are very much disadvantaged because those taken are from other areas,” he said.
He said that they will not tolerate corruption and nepotism in the exercise.
“Politicians should come and do oversight but not bring in their candidates because they will disrupt the exercise. This activity is only mandated by the Teachers Service Commission,” he said.
He cautioned officers involved in the exercise urging them to give West Pokot County its rightful share.
He called on TSC to take disciplinary action against one teacher who posted offensive language on social media.
KUPPET Secretary in the County Alfred Kemuto called for promotion of teachers hence giving local teachers the opportunity.
“The law is very clear in chapter 4 of the constitution on the marginalized and minority, that the marginalized and minority should be employed,” he said.
“635 teacher’s slots have been advertised in West Pokot County but it is a drop of water in the sea. We have 150 acting Principals and Deputies in job group C 4 and 5 to promote them to job group B,P1 .They should be confirmed because they have acted for a long time,” said Kemuto.
The sentiments have been supported by West Pokot Deputy Governor Robert Komolle who says that local teachers have been shortchanged for many years.
However, West Pokot County TSC Director Bernard Kimachas dismissed the allegations saying they are untrue adding that they have given priority to locals.
“The constitution is very clear that teachers can be employed from anywhere. Those complaining should come to our offices and not complain elsewhere,’ said Kimachas.