19 June 2018

Kenya: TSC Says Principals to Be Held Accountable for Learners' Safety

Principals will now be held accountable for the safety of learners in schools, Teachers Service Commission says.

Teacher Management Director Mary Rotich ordered the principals to protect students especially girls learning in both boarding and day schools.

Speaking during the annual Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association conference at the Wild Waters Centre in Mombasa, Ms Rotich said TSC is committed to ensuring safety and security of all learners.

Ms Rotich who was coordinating the teacher's recognition presentations where 21 principals showcased their professional work however denied journalist an interview regarding learners' safety in the wave of sex abuse storm.


Some weeks ago, a Form Two student at Moi Girls Nairobi was raped by an unknown man.

Police are still investigating the circumstances under which the incident happened.Recently, Maasai Girls School in Narok was closed indefinitely after students protested an alleged case of sexual harassment by a male teacher. Some 700 girls at the school walked out in protest.

The 8,000 principals are discussing education, security and their welfare.The school managers want the government to fund the installation of surveillance cameras in schools and employ former military officers to boost security and curb sexual violence.


The school managers said male students were also prone to abuse by female teachers, but they usually keep mum.

This year's theme 'Redirecting the education sector in Kenya' seeks to address policies and challenges affecting the profession while executing their mandate.

"You are personally responsible to ensure students safety. Don't tell us it is the board. On Saturday a board member texted me informing me about a principal and deputy who had not attended a meeting," Ms Rotich said.

She directed the school managers to appoint somebody to be in charge whenever they are away.

"We will hold you accountable because you are the mother and father of your institutions.

But in response, the principals said it is not logical that they should be held responsible solely.

SUPPORT"Because there are certain things that you have to institute with the support of the board. If the board cannot approve certain things as a principal, you may not execute them. But if you go against the board, something happens and people have to ask questions, you have to get the board's approval. Maybe it was a slip of the tongue from Ms Rotich," Kessha chairman Indimuli Kahi responded.Mr Kahi insisted that principals cannot institute anything that is capital in a learning institution without approval of the board of management.

He said board of management as an institution involves both principal and the managers and that the principal is just a secretary to the board.

"We have security challenges in our schools but most pertinent is the recent sexual violence. We strongly condemn the sexual violence in schools but it is not a whole teaching profession problem, we should deal with individual teachers or principals," Mr Kahi said.


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