The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) now wants punitive teacher transfers reversed.

Union Secretary-General Collins Oyuu said while teachers can be transferred for various reasons including administrative or on request, some past transfers had been punitive.

“These transfers must not be punitive by any standards. Teachers should always feel there is genuine reason they are being moved from one station to another,’’ said Mr Oyuu.

He said: “The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) should ensure those who are being transferred are taken to places where they can work and produce results, not to places where they feel punished.”

Oyuu, who said some teachers had written to Knut about the punitive transfers, added that a date had been secured between the union and TSC to discuss the transfers.

He said the delocalisation policy affected teachers who are married couples. Oyuu said the issue was discussed in the 2021-2025 CBA.

“All our members who feel aggrieved by this policy shall be assisted to have them work close to their families and spouses. This must not attract any argument since it is espoused in the running CBA. We wish to invite affected members to reach out to us for support,” the Knut boss said.

Speaking in Nairobi yesterday, the Knut official said there was need for public goodwill for the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) to succeed.

On teachers numbers, Oyuu said the shortage in primary schools stand at 84,000 and 12,000 in secondary schools.

Oyuu said the country needs 100,000 teachers to meet the shortage. He said only 5,000 are being employed every year.

“Parliament has the ability to push for funds to be appropriated properly so that more teachers can be employed. We can move fast and have 20,000 teachers employed annually,’’ he said

He blamed poor mental health among some teachers on workload.

“Indiscipline has been witnessed in the recent past in primary and secondary schools. It is due to pressure on the few teachers, who are unable to meet the expectations of the society and learners in terms of quality and access,” said Oyuu.

He said to ensure quality, affordable and accessible education, there is need to build enough schools and employ adequate teachers.

On promotions, Knut urged the commission to make known its promotion criteria.

The union asked TSC to ensure teachers are promoted after upgrading their qualifications and on merit.

‘’The commission needs to make clear its promotion procedures and requirements so that we know who is promoted, when and how,” said Oyuu.

“We want to call upon the employer to make its promotion guidelines clear so that we are aware when it is being done or when opportunities are available,” he added. Oyuu said promotions should be made in good time to avoid cases where some schools operate without heads or deputy heads.

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