An open letter to the Teachers Service Commission

TSC CEO Nancy Macharia

Dear, Nancy Njeri Macharia,

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is by no means the single biggest independent commission in the country. You must know this since you are the Commission Secretary. I would understand why it takes something close to eternity to get served by TSC.

What I do not understand is how a teacher

— and not one

— will get a payslip only to realise that they are servicing a loan they did not take. And it only happens to teachers here in Kenya. Just how someone would get details of a teacher and go through to payroll and effect such deductions with fake documents will shock even the devil. But this is not why I am writing this letter.

TSC

— I believe

— has thousands of teachers, more than 200,000 perhaps and counting, under its umbrella. Every year, another 5,000 or more are added to this list. So, with a budget of Sh200 billion or more, and this population of people, service delivery can no doubt be a challenge.

This however does not explain the terrible service that teachers continue to get. That is why our heart as The Nairobian Defender goes out to the Kenyan teacher. It is no wonder that for teachers to get a proper service, they must go to the streets.

Having been a teacher yourself, some of the contents in this letter may not be entirely new to you. I will not talk about how tough it is to get a matter resolved. I will not even write about the complaints we continue to receive because that would need more space than I can afford.

I would like to just request you, or whoever else is in charge at TSC, to go down to teachers and start understanding how badly they are being served. Just how long does it take to have a complaint resolved? What about retired teachers? What really is the meaning of service? So, if you go to the TSC website and wanted to file a complaint, what do you get? You find post office boxes for various county directors. This in the digital age in 2017!

We have also passed many complaints to the TSC that are just ignored or never acted upon. This is why we would like on behalf of teachers to start publishing them here, verbatim. Just maybe some highly paid official in a corner office enjoying free air condition paid by taxpayers may read and get touched to start acting.

Case one:

Withheld benefits

I want to congratulate you for the work you are doing for the people!

My name is Stephen Kamuyu Mwangi (TSC NO 41259) and I would like to bring to your attention my case. I joined TSC in the year 1972. I had a break of service from 1985 to 1993.

I was reinstated in March 1, 1993 to April 2001. On April 30, 2001, I received a wrong dismal letter because my ID shows the date of birth as 1948.

My birth certificate and passport indicates that I was born on November 1, 1948 therefore my letter of retirement should have been written on November 1, 2002. Consequently, TSC has withheld my benefits to date.

Please help me get my money.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Mwangi.

Case Two:

A teacher’s cry for justice

I am Juddy W. Ngugi TSC no 357254. I was interdicted on 7/12/16 as Principal Kimutwa Secondary School (Machakos County) on allegation that I neglected my duty by failing to collect, supervise and return KCSE Maths paper 121/1 and Chemistry paper 233/1 exams on 7/11/16 for my school.

On the contrary, I had a written permission from the Sub County Director of Education (Machakos Sub county), a Mr Francis Munyeke (who was in charge of exams coordination) to delegate to one of my teachers to stand in for me, and who performed excellently. The interdiction, coming exactly a month later was shocking, suspicious and daring with much impunity.

I appeared before the TSC disciplinary panel on 1/03/2017. Ironically, a different charge was preferred against me other than the one on my interdiction letter contrary to the teachers code of regulations (2013) chapter X clause 3.1 part VI where ONLY the allegation(s) in the interdiction letter shall be considered and in line with part 3 (a) iii (PROCESS OF INTERDICTION) “where specific and actual allegation was made against me”.

Interestingly in that disciplinary panel comprising of a TSC commissioner and other TSC staff, I was not allowed to defend myself, adduce any evidence or cross examine my accusers, who were Mr. Ireri Muturi, the County Director of Education, Machakos and the Sub County Director of Education Machakos Sub County, Mr Munyeke contrary to chapter X of the teachers code of regulations (2013).

It was just unfair to me given they (panel) were the accusers, prosecutors, witnesses and also the judges. I am worried their verdict might be based on these irregularities.

I had their permission to delegate and be elsewhere as I indicated in my reply to the show cause letter dated 1/12/2016. My protest to the Ministry of Education bore no fruits. By all constitutional means, I rightfully and lawfully ask for justice.

Case Three:

Unpaid salary

I am a teacher by profession and am one of the teachers who were recruited on a three-month contract during the teachers’ strike popularly known as relief teachers.

Some teachers were paid and others have never been paid up to date. Personally I was paid salary for two months and the remaining amount has never been paid.

Many have even given up because of frustration. My TSC no is 613030.

Help

Lydiah Muhonja


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