What you need to know:
- TSC has usurped extra powers that have seen functions at the county level duplicated and cases of supremacy wars recorded.
In his opinion article “School managers? What for?” (DN, Feb. 10), Eric Nyamweya opposed the proposal to amend the Basic Education Act 2013 to have the Education Cabinet Secretary directly appoint 30,000 school managers.
But although he raised pertinent questions, Mr Nyamweya ignored the provisions of the Basic Education Act 2013 and Teachers Service Commission Act 2012.
In an attempt at throwing a punch at the TSC for allegedly clipping the powers of principals, he said school managers will be a duplication of roles with the former. Let me first answer his second question, “For what?” Under the two Acts, a principal is defined as the lead educator or administrator in a post-primary school level educational institution, appointed by TSC and responsible for the implementation of educational policy guidelines and professional practices.
Nowhere is the principal given the role of managing school finances and property. Besides, the Education CS is the only person mandated with the overall governance and management of basic education institutions, including sending capitation funds to school accounts.
As things stand, the CS has no control over school management, no control over the use of the funds he sends to schools and, surprisingly, he is the only such official in East Africa who has no control over the teachers he has tasked with curriculum implementation and no say over the use of other school resources. Principals are only answerable to their employer, TSC, not CS — a disaster in any organisation.
Secondly, the Ministry of Education has been executing its roles as per the Constitution. TSC has usurped extra powers that have seen functions at the county level duplicated and cases of supremacy wars recorded.
For instance, the ministry has a fully functional Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards of Curriculum as per the Act, yet TSC has established its own similar office up to the sub-county level. TSC’s roles are purely human resource (HR) — supplying teachers to schools. Ironically, the ministry develops education policy, design standards, sets examinations and provides learning materials and capitation funds.
Finally, Kenyans must have value for their taxes. For instance, principals and bursars are not subject to audit queries. The opposition to the amendment is not because teachers love managerial functions, but that school funds are cash cows.
Just see how principals opposed the directive by the Education CS, Prof George Magoha, to bear personal responsibility on school fires, reminding everyone that they work from 8am to 4pm!School heads have left schools in a financial mess.
Some go to the extent of taking out bank loans and seeking a transfer to flee the crisis. Money generated from school-run businesses are not subject to audit. Let’s streamline our education system.
Agot Bonface, Nairobi