Schools opened today and it became clear to all and sundry that everything is amiss in the education sector. A handful of pupils and teachers reported to the schools and no substantial learning took place today.
Perhaps it is the issue of the aborted strike but many will be agreed that it is inconveniencing to start a very important term midweek and barely hours after celebrating the New year.
The problem at both the ministry and TSC boils down to poor leadership. Leadership is the ability to guide a group of people successfully towards achieving a set of goals. Leadership provides direction besides inspiring. Leadership designs and implements clear and crisp POLICIES! Policies run organizations and if they are designed by the incompetent, problems ensue.
It important to note that the government was to roll out a new education system today! The 8 4 4 is being kicked to the curb and leadership was supposed to be at play today. The entire ministry was supposed to head to the field in a media frenzied fanfare and they were expected to take the lead from teachers in doing this all important launch.
I would have expected to see the cabinet visit a school with Uhuru himself welcoming young children to this new important dawn. Maybe the mandarins at the ministry did not invite him. Perhaps he should have invited himself! Between the presidency and the departments working under him, there is a weak link.
This is a ministry headed by a minister who is presiding over confusion after confusion. In less than three weeks, she has made three different pronouncements that have caused utter beffudflement.
To aggravate matters, TSC is also stoking the embers instead of seeking industrial harmony with the workforce! We have a ministry rolling out a new system on one side and a department threatening to sack its entire workforce with a promise to replace them with the trained but unemployed.
That itself is proof the TSC is led by a horribly incompetent crew. Education is life and threats don’t suffice. The TSC runs away from the table of dialogue and hides behind the Labour courts from where they issue less assuring edicts.
Teaching is an act of God and no amount of payment can compensate the teacher. Teachers require an environment that will excite morale, not discontent. Lengoiboini and the former chair are surely being missed.
Children are delicate and should not be handled by a disgruntled force. The matter of promotions is not a matter which should lead to industrial action. It is a matter of morality and social justice. Furthermore, The numbers in question are not big enough to cause budgetary constraints.
Besides trapping teachers in an environment with less positive prospects, The TSC has also embarked on a policy of primitive transfers where teachers are tossed about without regard to family and personal health issues. It is clear that there are loopholes in policy formulation, adoption and implementation. Knee-jerk rules the roost.
It made a lot of sense to have teachers working in their home districts factoring in the big matter of poor pay. At home, they can engage themselves in other side hustles to top up on the poor pay.
Teachers do not oppose transfers. Transfers have been there and often times, the same teachers requested for it. The situation obtaining today is that of banditry! Transfers are by fiat and gates are closed behind otherwise successful homes, turning them into ghost compounds. The accompanying rider is: report to your new station or lose your job! That is not an environment conducive for work. You will mostly find the same teachers leaving their new posts on Thursdays for a long weekend home, a weekend which stretches to Tuesdays. It beats logic and defeats the purposes for the same transfers.
The jubilee government can also not be left off the hook. It is rolling out a new system of education yet no funds have been dispatched to the schools. Maybe Amina did not push for sufficient funding and I really doubt treasury would have refused bearing in mind the factors which are at play.
Materials are in short supply and the instructional materials are of poor quality . Most books are of questionable content. Piloting has also not been done. The government sits back as TSC messes around with the teaching staff, few of which have been trained to roll out the New System. The question is, how would the government roll out a new system after sacking the entire force!
Finally, It is not surprising that there is no policy framework for the new curriculum — the sessional paper to anchor it is yet to be tabled and discussed in Parliament. Maybe Amina does not even know that that is an important requirement!