Tag Archives: Education

7 Things that teachers will remember TSC boss Nancy Macharia’s first term for.

3 weeks ago marked the commencement of TSC boss Nancy macharia’s second term in office.

In June 2015 she succeeded Mr. Gabriel Lengoiboni  who had served the commission for 11 years.

The secretary is the head of the secretariat, the accounting officer of the commission and custodian of its records.

The holder of the position implements  the commission’s decisions while facilitating, coordinating and ensuring the accomplishment of its mandate.

Last month the president of Law Society of Kenya Mr. Nelson Harvey warned the attorney general against re- appointment of ms Macharia without subjecting her to a competitive selection process.

What exactly will teachers remember about her first term?

1.Implementation of a Sh54 billion deal that has seen teachers’ salaries increase.

The last phase is to be effected this month.

2.Less strikes.

Due to Collective Bargaining Agreement, CBA that the Teachers Service Commission entered with Kenya National Union of teachers ,K N U T and Kenya union of post-primary education KUPPET, perennial strikes have almost been stamped out.

3.Medical insurance scheme.

The first month of Nancy’s  first term in office saw the commission register 1,006,673 clients including children and spouses of teachers.

4.Introduction of performance contracts.

Macharia introduced performance contract and progression guidelines in a bid to professionalize teaching .

This move led to a castle between kNUT and TSC in and out of courts.

Members of KNUT suffered a blow when TSC excluded them from a pay rise citing the court case last year .

They are now waiting to see if the last phase will include them.

The decision saw thousands of teachers quit KNUT to join KUPPET or remain union-less. The former lost earnings since TSC refused to remit union dues.

5.Crippling KNUT.

The Macharia led commission in its first term was accused of sidelining the radical K N U T while favouring KUPPET which is less radical .

6.De-registration of Wilson sossion from the register of teachers.

She went ahead to notify the giant union of plans to end its fifty-two-year-old recognition  agreement.

7.Failure to solve understaffing problem.

Despite 300,000 teachers being jobless in Kenya ,the commission failed to fix the teacher shortage leading to understaffing in public schools.

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Why some teachers have chosen to”suffer” despite their education.

Hello beloved teachers? It is my hope that this finds you fine.

Well ,if I may ask ;
1) Is there any of you who can predict when the pandemic will end?
2) Those that are employed by TSC ,do you think the government will continue paying you at the comfort of your home, if the surge in Covid-19 cases continues?

As you ponder over those two questions, my conscience tells me that there is no such time when we shall showcase our innovativeness than this.

If the beautiful certificates  cannot help at the moment ,drop them and find alternatives.

Remember opportunities are plenty for they that can think broadly. You shall not continue waiting for date 25,topping up loan after loan. No I refuse!!!

For the TSC interns ,I feel it’s high time you stopped talking about the never ending “confirmation, confirmation,confirmation”.

It pains me when a teacher of business, properly equipped with skills in economics,financial accounting,Management ,enterpreneuship,strategic management still complain of meagre salary or lack of employment by TSC.

As if that is not enough, a computer teacher who can easily blog and earn money in whichever niche he selects, who can either design websites for sale or offer online computer training still Laments how unfair the government is.

The worst of all is the agriculture teacher located in rural area with vast land complaining about unemployment.

Do you not feel ashamed ,having acquired skills in animal and crop husbandry?

Mathematics teachers,with all the calculus, probability and related courses,why haven’t you applied the same in a business?

I’m trying to underscore the fact that each of the teaching subjects has an opportunity for he that thinks broadly.

The grammar Nazi’s and the linguists  who upto this point have identified a million grammatical and spelling “mistakes” in this article, what makes you think that you can’t have a news,fashion or a blog on any niche of interest or just do academic writing and earn something out of it?

Before I bore you ,I appeal to all of us to get out of the comfort zones,do away with the official clothes and get hands on.

You’ll still be respectable if you sell Omena,grains , clothes,vegetables or charcoal, won’t you?

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Pornographic content floods online classes,Parents threaten to withdraw their children.

What began as a blessing has turned out to be the reverse as majority of online classes are marred with pornographic content.

Hijackers have managed to inject pornographic content into several lessons such as Fairytale reading, maths and science.

In one of the high-end schools in Nairobi, lessons stopped after adult content  appeared on screens amid lesson.

The school was having a video conference lesson via zoom for class 7 and 8.

Parents said the interlude lasted about five minutes and screens were filled with pornography and obscene language. 

The parents chose to remain anonymous not wanting to identify the school or become targets for retaliation.

“The Class 7 meeting is out of hand, one pupil is sharing pornographic materials and using foul language. Parents, if you are in a position to do so, please supervise your children,” one parent posted on the school platform.

“The porn video is playing! Please do away with Zoom meetings,” another parent posted. 

“Personally, I will not allow my son to join any Zoom meeting again,” yet another parent posted. 

The school’s technology department said it is looking into the matter and ways of preventing future attacks.

Law enforcement agencies are investigating the unfortunate matter.

The same problem has been faced by several schools although some of them have chosen to handle it secretly.

A teacher said that some students form private chat groups on the provided learning platforms and through this they also share images and videos.

“Some children keep on sharing images and chatting when the class is on. Some of them form groups where they lock out even the teacher and you cannot know what they are sharing or discussing.

One of the primary private school teachers asked the parents to keep watch of what children from their end.

video conferencing through applications such as Microsoft team and zoom have been so common ever since Covid-19 struck Kenya leading to disruption of learning in schools.

Similar forms of cyber attacks have been witnessed in India, Singapore and the United States of America.

According to a cybersecurity expert laura Kipngetich, the cyber-attack currently witnessed in school is called zoom Bombing.

“It occurs when someone shares a unique Zoom link on social media or another public forum,” Kipngetich said.

Once the hijacker has landed in a Zoom session, he or they interrupt the meetings by randomly joining the call.

“The culprits might share their screens to broadcast offensive photos or videos,” she said.

“They can also flood the text chat feature with similarly offensive messages to other members of the call or target one person with provocative direct messages.” the expert said.

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Include KNUT school administrators in this month’s payrise.Sossion to TSC.

Teachers Service Commission(TSC) is expected to implement the fourth phase of 2017 -2021 collective bargaining agreement CBA .

According to Daily Nation,The Kenya National Union of The KNUT through its boss Wilson Sossion has asked the commision to include administrators in the Union ,in this month’s pay rise.

The administrators include at least 103,000 school heads,deputies and senior teachers.

During the third phase of implementation of the CBA, 103,634 teachers were exempted following a tussle between the union and employer.

KNUT had won a court case that aimed to stop the progression guidelines used by the TSC to increase teachers salaries.

All the teachers that were excluded were members of KNUT.

July Payroll

Teachers are expectant as TSC is to complete the July payroll come Monday.

K N U T secretary-general Wilson sossion has asked the Teachers Service Commission to pay the teachers all the pending salaries from July last year to July 2020.

“It is against international labour practices for an employer to withhold teachers’ salaries when the finances have been budgeted for,” said Mr Sossion.

It is wrong to punish teachers

The firebrand secretary-general warned the employer against punishing teachers for wrongs that they never did.

He added that CBA is a very legal document hence the commision has no option but to respect it.

Several principals divulged to one of the dailies that they had missed between between Sh16,000 to Sh23,000 monthly that was meant for their monthly pay rise.

Consequently,several frustrated teachers moved to KUPPET whose members received full benefit of the CBA.

Some principals however said that their attempts to join KUPPET has not succeded as their applications have not been validated through the TSC portal.

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Principals and Head teachers to collect data on pregnant girls-Education Ministry.

The Ministry of Education has ordered all principals and headteachers to go back to work and record the number of students who are pregnant during the covid 19 pandemic.

Teachers have been confused by the directive as schools remain closed and they’re wondering how they are going to do that .

According to a circular issued by Basic education PS Dr.Belio Kipsan’g,  the head teachers are expected to work closely with the the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government and that of Health in order to effect the directive.

They are to capture the names,identity  and exact locations of pregnant girls and those that have delivered then forward the information to the ministry headquarters latest July 23rd.

“The purpose of this letter is to have all regions, counties and sub counties collect data on girls who are currently expecting and those who have recently given birth and could be potential drop outs when schools reopen,” read the circular dated July 14.

It was sent to all regional directors of education, county directors of education and sub-county directors of education.

Yesterday education Cabinet secretary prof George magoha said the teachers are working hand-in-hand with education officials to collect data on the students who might have been defiled.

“I am interested to find out the number of learners who are pregnant. Teachers are working with chiefs to find this out because they are both serving the same government,” the CS said.

According to the data released recently, several students got pregnant at this time when they’re at home.

Professor magoha however said that the right information will be given after collection of the data by the  Chiefs and head teachers from their respective schools.

“I am equally puzzled about the data that is being released purporting to show the number of learners who have been impregnated. I believe the numbers could have been exaggerated for unknown reasons,” the CS said.

He was speaking at Asumubi Teacher’s Training College located in Rangwe constituency in Homabay County where he went to inspect the level of preparedness of learning institutions for opening.

In his company was the area Mp Dr. Lilian GoGo who also expressed concern of the skyrocketing defilement cases that has led to teenage pregnancies.

The Chairman of secondary school heads Association Mr. Indimuli Kahi however said that collecting such data is difficult owing to the fact that they will be compelled to call parents and guardians to school so as to inquire from them,something he said would be so humiliating.

“Do you think a parent will tell you that their girl is pregnant?” he asked, adding that principals are being asked to do unimaginable and impractical things.

He said that instead of engaging the principals and heads of school in such an impractical task , it should be left to the Chiefs, ward representatives, assistant Chiefs and Village elders to follow up on girls in their localities.

“The girls will give details of their schools,” he said

Mr indimuli said that following the ban on pregnancy testing in schools after claims that it infringed on the rights of girl child, it is very difficult to know whether a girl is pregnant or not even when in school.

Chairman of secondary school heads Association Mr. Indimuli Kahi

The Kenya Primary School Heads Association Chairman Nicholas Gathemia ,however said that heads of schools situated in rural areas have no difficulty collecting.the data

He said the schools are located within the locality,only that the outcome might be inaccurate as they may be accused of giving false information or tarnishing the names of the girls.

“With the current generation, a girl can be pregnant today and tomorrow you find they are not, how will a head teacher prove those allegations?” he said.

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2020 list of top 200 popular universities in Africa out. UoN position 7.

The University of Nairobi still continue to shine among African institutions of higher learning.

It became position 7 after 6 South African Universities according to a report by Unirank.

Here is the List of top 100

  1. University of Pretoria
  2. University of Capetown
  3. University of Witwatersrand
  4. University of Johannesburg
  5. University of KwaZulu Natal
  6. Stellenbosh University
  7. University Of Nairobi

The ranking also put into consideration chartered academic institutions, licensed or accredited by the appropriate higher education-related organisation in each country.

In that regard,other Kenyan Universities that also made it to the list include;

  • Kenyatta University at position 16
  • St. Paul’s University (53)
  • Jommo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology(61)
  • United States University-Africa (75)
  • Strathmore (81)

Outside top 100

  • Moi (109)
  • Mount Kenya (131)
  • Egerton (148)
  • Catholic University of Eastern Africa (159)
  • Technical University of Kenya(171) 
  • Africa Nazarene University (185).

United States Of America Based Universities dominated the world scale with the best/top being Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Those that did not make it to top 200 but are popular in Kenya include

  • Maseno University
  • Kabianga university
  • Kisii University
  • Masinde Muliro University
  • Kibabii University
  • Technical University of Mombasa among others.

In last year’s ranking University of Nairobi was placed at position 8 in non academic calissification.

The ranking took into consideration universities delivering courses predominantly in a traditional, face-to-face, non-distance education format.

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Top 5 Challenges faced by private School teachers in Kenya.

A teacher conductin’g her lesson.

Education plays a major role in acceleratin’g socio- economic growth of a nation.In Kenya, private schools have immensely complemented the public schools in ensuring that this is achieved.

Having received lamentations from some private school teachers accross the country,in this article,I highlight some of the challenges that such teachers undergo during the lockdown and when in school.

From my inbox:

Hello Brian,teachers from private are going through tough moments especially during this time.1.since closure of schools my life has been pathetic,march l was given half salary.have a family of two my wife and son.my son suffer from C.P(cerebral pulse) of which from my job by the way lam the htr in that school.from my salary l always put aside 10k for medication of my son on which my wife takes him to different pediatric in different hospital for medication. As from Monday to Friday. So since the pandemic my son lacks the medication,we lack meals by which we only have one meal per day but to son he takes porrage all the time of which it affects him like last week he had a pot belly by which it was due to lack of protein. House rent haven’t paid since April to date and whenever l call the director to support me he says that he has no money.thus why was saying please the government as its supporting those vulnerable, it should also see us as private school teacher.life is so tough and rough on my side.

1.Poor and unreliable salaries.
With exemption of international schools ,some teachers who work in Kenyan private schools,whether primary or secondary part with a meager pay come end month.

A teacher’s salary can be as low as 7,000 per month.

Some find it hard even to cater  for their families especially during the lockdown when they don’t any salary at all.

The worst of all is that they are not sure of getting this small amount of pay due to greed of the administrators or directors.

Many teachers have therefore resorted to taking loans and topping up year in year out in an attempt to fend for their families .

Some schools took advantage of the current situation in the country to further worsen the already worse situation.

Do you know that as early as when the first case of covid-19 was announced in Kenya,Some private schools had begun giving notice of compulsory unpaid leave,in anticipation for the lockdown?

A school in Nairobi ,whose name I won’t mention for security reasons, paid its workers a quarter of the salary in pretext that the rest will be paid when “Corona virus ends”

Ironically, their counterparts in public schools have continued receiving their pay from the comfort of their homes.

2.Job Insecurity.
Teachers in private schools are always in fear of losing their jobs should  any “mistake” occur.

The administration is on their neck for better academic results. When a “mistake” does occur that students do not perform accordin’g to administrators’ expectations, a poor teacher  is threatened to be sacked.

3.Lack of teachers’ Union and representations.
The acronyms KNUT and KUPPET are so common to every Kenyan’s ears.

These are very active unions of public school teachers that for a very long time have fought against any form of prejudice,humiliation or mistreatment of any teacher by the employer.

Sadly,the counterparts in the private sector have no voice hence the mistreatment.

Their grievances are not effectively presented to the education ministry.

Many employers are aware of this and therefore goes ahead to perpetrate evil deeds to innocent teachers,after all the teacher has no where to seek redress.

4.Work Load.
Every private school is looking for competitive edge to attract top level students.

A lot of pressure is therefore exerted on  their teachers to achieve extremely high targets within a given period,hence high workload compared to their counterparts in public schools.

5.Parental engagement
In several if not all private schools, parents are extremely committed to having a say in their child’s education.

The administration listens so much to the parent more than it does to teachers,after all they (parents) are the source of income.

Teachers therefore have no option but to work extremely hard to ensure that the children perform.

https://kenyanbell.com received a lot of lamentations from some of the teachers who sought anonymity.

Here are other comments that confirms the situations;

“The government should cater for private school teachers like me here have a family and my child is physically challenged of which l always take him to hospital at a cost from Monday to Friday in different hospitals. So beg the government to consider us.l am really suffering.”

Please we teachers in Private schools are suffering.please we are suffering.”

The question that you would ask yourself is that is bein’g a teacher in a private school a mistake ?

I am of the opinion that the government has an obligation to take care of its citizens whether in private sector or otherwise.

It is not wise at all to have a trained and competent teacher languish in poverty when something can be done to salvage them.

Kenyan Schools to Reopen in September, new calendar to be out by mid August.

President Kenyatta

Schools are to be re opened on the first of September, said the president.

In his address at the state house, he said that the new schools calendar is to be out in mid August.

Stakeholders from the ministry of health and that of education are to meet to deliberate on this.

Reopening the economy
The president said that opening the country’s economy is dependent on 3 factors (irreducible minimums)

1.The infections are contained and the number of deaths reduced.
2.The health care systems are well-prepared to avoid being overstretched.
3.There is a capacity to carry out contact tracin’g surveillance effectively.

He attested to the fact that all these have not been fully achieved and hence the need to continue with restrictions in some parts of the country.

The president also added that the national and county government summit is to be held within 14 days to deliberate on modalities of re- opening the economy.

However,the dusk to dawn curfew is to begin from 9 pm to 4am giving room for several businesses to operate within the time frame.

He also said that the ban on gatherings for example in bars is extended for the next 30 days. Besides, international air travels is also still suspended for the same period.

On houses of worship, the president said that an interface council is to meet within the next 7days to discuss the procedure  of re-opening.

He concluded by urging’ the landlords to “put people before profits” and all citizens to take seriously the measures given by the ministry of health.

With all these, the question remains, whether the government has put in place enough measures to help prevent transmission of the virus amongst children when schools surely open.