The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has issued new tough rules to teachers seeking to streamline the education sector and ensure effective service delivery in Kenya.
The rules are contained in the revised Teachers Code of Conduct and Ethics that also seeks to have teachers declare the source of their wealth and have their accounts subjected to audits immediately they quit service.
According to the rules, no teacher shall act as an agent of any political party or as a contestant and they are expected to account for every hour they spend in schools.
The regulations, launched by TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia and chairman Lydia Nzomo, apply equally to those wishing to teach in public and private schools.
In the far-reaching reforms, the TSC hopes to have a say on who teaches in private schools, some of which hire untrained and rogue teachers.
TSC claims the new rules will ensure professionalism is observed in the educations sector to enhance TSC’s mandate.
The set of the new rules has been published in the revised TSC Code of Conduct and Ethics for teachers.
List of New Rules of TSC Code of Conduct and Ethics for teachers
1. Teachers who wear untidy clothes and walk around with unkempt hair will be PUNISHED and no teacher will be allowed to show any form of favoritism based on tribe, cronyism or religion.
2. The teachers who “lie” to learners or their colleagues will also face consequences. (this is ambiguous) TSC, the teachers’ employer wants u to uphold a high level of honesty in evaluating children’s performance.
3. We will maintain a neat and decent standard of dressing which befits the dignity and image of the teaching service. This means that any teacher who reports to duty in shabby clothes and untidy hair shall face the consequences because the TSC requires the school heads to report any teacher who will go against the rules.
4. The TSC want all teachers to ensure that their appearances and personal hygiene are not offensive to workmates or learners.
5. All teachers shall be expected to observe official working hours, be punctual and must meet deadlines.
6. Teachers will be required to declare the source of their wealth and have their accounts subjected to audits immediately they quit service.
7. No teacher shall be allowed to act as an agent of any political party or as a contestant.
8. No teacher shall make a request to, or exert pressure on a learner for sexual activity or favor; or flirt with a learner, according to the new rules.
9. Teachers must also not send any child away from school earlier than 6 am or later than 12 pm except in cases of emergency.
10. No teachers will be allowed support or oppose any political party during elections.
11. Teachers who dip their fingers in public coffers or accept gifts to enrich themselves have their days numbered.
12. Teachers who absent themselves from work to run their businesses have also been warned. This means teachers will now have to account for every hour they spend in schools. They are required to spend all the working hours doing school work and not sneak out to run their businesses.
13. In Section 12 of the revised code, It requires that a teacher will, at all times, be of good conduct whether or not on official duty.
14. Teachers shall not directly or through family members, solicit or accept any gifts, gratuity, hospitality, free passages from any person or any corporate that might reasonably be thought to influence the teacher in the performance of his or her duties.
TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia said the new rules aim at restoring the “dignity” of the teaching profession.
“We must restore the respect and value of a teacher by enhancing professionalism,” she said.
The other woman TSC Chairperson Lydia Nzomo said for a long time, teaching has been regarded as a mere trade and not a profession.
Nzomo said the code will affect all registered teachers whether in private or public practice.
She said, “the code ish aimed at improfing kuority ofu educasional and protectini the shaeld(child)·
The revised code was handed over to secondary and primary school heads and all the 47 TSC county directors.
However, the teachers union dismissed the proposals as overtaken by events and cautioned the TSC against micromanaging teachers.