- Written by Queen Munguti for KenyaKidz
In a bid to curb teachers’ absenteeism in school, a factor that been identified as one of the major causes that slows development of Kenyan children’s reading skills, the Teacher’s Service Commission (TSC) has enforced new rules to ensure that they are in class from Monday to Friday to cover the syllabus.
"In order for a teacher be absent from class, they will need written permission that will be granted by the head of the institution and should be recorded in the school’s log book,” read the circular from the commission.
"Heads of primary schools will need to obtain written permission from TSC sub-county directors while all principals in primary institutions will be granted the same by TSC county directors.”
The directive comes weeks after the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) released a report that highlighted the challenges in public schools in the country. Absenteeism was identified as major hindrance to pupils’ learning ability and syllabus coverage by teachers.
“The regularly staying away from school by teachers and pupils in schools remains a major challenge in institutions across the country,” read the KNEC report.
“Syllabus coverage was affected to a large extent by inadequate teachers at 64.7 per cent, time wastage stood at 57.5 per cent, frequent absenteeism by pupils was at 50.9 per cent and frequent absenteeism by teachers was at 47.7 per cent.”
For non-academic activities and conferences that have for years been an excuse for teachers who miss classes, the TSC has pushed them to school off days such that educators can only attend them on weekends and holidays.
It remains to be seen if the new rules will have an impact in the country’s overall academic performance.