15 May 2012

Kenya: Teachers, Parents in Nyanza Clash Over Performance Contracts

TEACHERS and parents in Nyanza have clashed over the move by legislators to have teachers sign performance contracts. The House Parliamentary Committee on Education, Science and Technology has said teachers should embrace performance contracts like other civil servants. The committee instructed TSC to immediately put in place measures that would see top performers awarded and lazy ones dealt with.

Yesterday, teachers and parents in Nyanza speaking through their umbrella bodies differed on the proposal. Teachers vowed to reject it while parents expressed support for the idea. Kisumu county Kuppet chairman Zablom Awange and Knut executive secretary Joshua Ogallo said teachers are already being assessed through various ways like mean grades achieved adding that it would be unfair to compel them to sign performance contracts.

Awange said teachers have no control over external factors like community, political affairs, ministry directives, type of school, socio-cultural aspects which, he said, determine the final results. Kuppet Homa Bay county executive secretary Eliud Ochieng' and Migori county chairman Kennedy Makasembo said teachers' schemes of service and lesson plans are clear indications of performance contracts.

They vowed to resist policies that are not in their interest and challenged all the stakeholders to endeavor to involve teachers in any policy formulated right from the start. But the Kenya National Association of Parents Nyanza branch chairman Jackson Omollo maintained that teachers must be subjected to the contracts "since it is the only way that quality education can be attained." Omollo asked Knut and Kuppet to embrace the idea.

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