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Thursday, December 18, 2008

TSC Planting Big Parents-Teachers Tension

Kenyan institutions never cease to amaze with colourful blueprints that are purposely authored to generate plenty of heat and no light. So now the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has introduced the so-called radical measures to select, appoint and deploy head teachers.

Never short of lofty and high-sounding nouns, TSC has developed a policy document, Identification, Selection, Appointment, Deployment and Training of Head Teachers, in an attempt to improve the management of learning institutions.

Nothing wrong with this marvelous new policy if only it was meant to be implemented as authored. But alas, in Kenya you have to be overtly and covertly optimistic to divorce expediency in such grand schemes.

You don’t have to be a neurosurgeon to see the impending tension between communities left to build their own schools only for TSC to deploy a professional head teacher whose modus operandi is at odds with the local interests. Not employing their sons and daughters who may not be qualified is a definite source of tension and eventual fallout.

TSC has professionally proposed that heads of post-primary institutions only become eligible for deployment outside their localities and communities. That would be sweet music to educationists since the move would effectively sever the links of patronage and nepotism in addition to reducing pursuit of personal interests often seen in running matatus and kiosks.

Social integration among the youth at their formative ages would be a great leap into banishing retrogressive mindset moulded in ETHNIC SUPERIORITY. We have witnessed the perils of being a student of Chepkoilel primary school proceeding to Chepkoilel Secondary and then qualifying for Chepkoilel Campus. Him who is not travelled/exposed often thinks his mum is the best cook. Long gone are the good old days when Mr. Mwamburi was a revered teacher in Suneka Primary School his not speaking Kisii notwithstanding.

TSC’s new directive amounts to making micro fundamental policies in a flawed national fabric. Granted secondary education is the best platform to plat the seed of national cohesion among the numerous Kenyan tribes. But Moi’s ruinous ERROR witnessed populist expansion of education at the expense of quality and structure. 8-4-4 is a marvelous idea working flawlessly in Canada but Moi never left implementation of Mackay’s commission to professionals. The end product was to have specialized professions like music and art/craft bastardized to juvenile levels.

Slaying flies with a hammer
Apologists to the present political dispensation will readily jump to the cliche tokenism to use Moi's low bar for Kibaki. Education is such an important corner stone of a country's identity and prospect that must not be left at the whims of populism and machinations of scoundrels. The last six years have been no better as evident in populating the Ministry of education with the right DNA top heavy with dinosaurs.

It is not difficult to see the localized version of our quest to SUCCEED academically at whatever cost. Last years KCSE fiasco is a case in point where parents conspired with teachers to finance widespread exam cheating. Apologists may downplay that as an isolated episode but not for those conversant with Kenya’s steady decline in education standards over the past years. The nationwide cheating was only evident when the scandal gained CRITICAL MASS.

The TSC policy is a right move that only scratches the surface of a national affliction education with potential long term consequences. Kenya prides itself in her enormous human resources. But leaving educational infrastructure in the hands of villagers only to shove head teachers down their throats is a recipe of rural tension and subsequent downturn in quality.

Until we prioritize education and leave its policies to professionals, Kenya will continue living the national lie of being a regional hub of excellence. Inferior politics that never spares any sector its ugly claws is our bane.


E-CHANGE said...

teachers and students alike are victims of lack of integrity in our education system from exam leakages through to nationwide unrest and strikes through to previous unimplemented recommendations

The problem with our system(s) is the buck stops with no one and the blame game is endlessly shifted from one end to another.
Lack of money to pay for both quality and quantity is the root cause of all evil. the resulting impact is LOW policy formulation that sounds lofty in our ears but will fail to stand the test of time and the ones to pay the price are the current crop of pupils who will be forced to flee to diaspora to find out what it truly means to be in an education system that works

somebody has to bite the bullet otherwise what is the point of playing russian roulette with our lives?

Vikii said...

I think our 'educational situation' is a little less bleak than you want us to believe. I know that like so many other areas of our national life, it is riddled with corruption, mismangement and utter impunity, but I also know that that is an area we have scored better than most of our friends.

Now one thing we need to give President Moi credit for is the expansion of education. Granted, some people may have betrayed the trust bestowed on them by auctioning exams, diverting money earmarked for libraries (I have a cousin who hates George Eshiwani with a passion for pocketing half the money meant for those "Nyayo Hostels" in KU) etc, but all those college campuses and universities that sprouted at his time should mean something. They should have raised their own money for expansion and improvement of their curricula. They never did and that's why we are here with those like us that (Big)Phil calls "half baked".

I will not talk about Kibaki, but I have a question; Do you have doubts about the qualifications (or suitability) of Prof. Saitoti, Prof Karega Mutahi, Prof. Kilemi Mwiria, or Prof. sam Ongeri running the ministry of education? What is so disqualifying in their DNA? Please answer that one.

Now to the theme of your post, Taabu, the suggestion by the TSC (I have not seen it)as you explain it here sounds brilliantr to me. This idea of "one of our own" is the biggest affliction that ever hit our shores. It is time we put an end to the habit of filling Form one places with the Principal's cousins and illegiimate kids. It is time we had Mr. Washington Jefferson Sylvester Otieno sr managing Mac 'B'. It is time we had a real shot at social integration.

That said, why are you always so skeptical Taabu? Why don't you start to believe?

As an aside, why don't our politicians write? Apart from Kiraitu and recently Prof anyang Nyong'o which other national politician has a title to his name? President Moi is soon going to die with all the experiences of 50 years in politics selfishly locked up in his head. We have grown up hearing how President Kibaki is an intellectual. I have not seen him give a lecure or read anything authored by him. Raila Odinga at 63 should also have something to share especially concerning his life in detention (At least wanyiri Kihoro and Ken matiba have told us how life was there). I think someone needs to wake up. Those Presidential advisors should be advising both these Presidents to at least use their connections to set up Presidential libraries in Eldoret and Nyeri. but I am sure they are not. All there is to think about is petty politics, but do I say?

Sayra said...

I always wonder if the likes of Kenyatta & Moi (or even worse the Kibs of today that pride themselves in been silence when things are burning or the RAOs who would do every things to maintain a clean public image but they nothing but dirt) who solely worked to be more popular ignoring more important aspects of leadership such as having quality education have an idea the mess they created. Do they ever sleep? Or they are not even aware that they messed ... ama they think they are the best thing that happened to Kenyans? I would really love to know.

Education is one of the building blocks of a nation, one that should never be politicized. People going through a whole 12yrs of been in class and at the end of it they look and feel more idiotic than when they started is sad. How about the lies and selective information/knowledge they are taught in history and social sciences such that when they are out of school they sound more occultic than knowledgeable?
What a long way we have to go.

Shame on them leaders. Shame On Them.

Taabu said...

Watch out what you pray for. Jose is is bringing Inter's head for the ULTIMATE chop. Ole wenu.

Anonymous said...

another post please about ODM ''democratic erections''

Anonymous said...

While at it, how about the PNU coronations - complete with "Goldenberg, seal uhuru park,shoot-to-kill" Saitoti as the presidential candidate in waiting, and Livondo "no known business but mysterious money rains," as the secretary of INTEGRITY and GOVERNANCE. Hehehehehe.....

UrXlnc said...


from your post, clearly there is more to the dynamics of a functional TSC impacting not just the technical operations but the comunnity relations and the potential for pitfalls exist. as sayra points out, our primary/secondary education system is the foundation of our future and we certainly need to ensure it meets acceptable standards.

i hope the TSC has adequate consultative forums in place to help thrash out any challenges and move away from roadside decrees that characterized much of our earlier "decision making" processes which regrettably but not surprising is making its way back.

UrXlnc said...


same story, same number of votes cast

but who is sensationalising and who writes the truth

Daniel Waweru said...


same story, same number of votes cast

but who is sensationalising and who writes the truth

I think you mean to suggest that the Nation is doing the sensationalising, but I fail to see it myself.

If the Standard report is correct, then of ODM's 13 committee members, only three voted for Ruto (on the very reasonable assumption that no PNU member would vote for him.) Fewer than half of ODM's members on the second- or third-most powerful parliamentary committee are willing to support their deputy leader's bid for its chairmanship That, if true, is a fairly sensational turn of events.

Your charge of sensationalism follows, I think, from the Nation's claim that two ODMers voted against Ruto, or that there was a falling-out between Ruto and Mudavadi. How the first is more sensationalist than the Standard's report - which entails that more than two ODMers voted against Ruto - isn't clear, at least to me. The second is an obvious and plausible explanation for which there is previous compelling evidence; if true, it explains events that demand explaining. So not obviously sensationalist.

Or did I just misread you altogether?

Anonymous said...


i couldnt care which of the MPs was chosen to head those committees. My problem is that one of those newspapers is misreporting, if you know how they voted kindly inform us. it is rather uncharacteristic of you to make the assumptions made above.


Taabu said...

You are often level-headed and a master of serial quotations. Why would be so heavy laden with assumptions? Come on man address the issue and make your point without choking in assumptions lest you drown in embarassment, will you?

Daniel Waweru said...

There are 27 members of the committee; 14 PNU and 13 ODM. According to the Standard, Ruto lost the vote 24 to 3. According to the Nation, he lost 15-11, with one abstention.

Suppose the Standard story is true. Then it follows that Ruto had three votes. Given ODm's 13 committee members, and given that Ruto is deputy leader of the party, that's an extremely surprising outcome. In particular, it means that Ruto got at most 3 votes from fellow ODMers, and that at least ten ODMers voted agains him. In light of the importance of the committee charimanship, that's a stunning result. The Standard offers very little further context or explantion of the story; it simply highlights the result. (My assumption that only ODMers voted for Ruto is independently plausible,of course. But if you prefer to argue that at least one PNU member voted for Ruto, then it follows that at most two ODMers supported him. That is, on the facts reported by the Standard, my assumption maximised Ruto's ODM vote. If you give that assumption up, then it follows that fewer ODMers voted for Ruto. Why you prefer that outcome, I can't tell, but it makes the case even more surprising not less: why would PNU committee members vote for Ruto in the first place, and too, why would they ote for him when ODMers were unwilling to do so?)

Suppose the Nation story is correct. Then Ruto lost 15-11 with one absence. That's still a shocker, since it follows that at least two ODMers voted against their deputy leader's bid for the chairmanship. The Nation offers some context -- by detailing the constitution of the committee, and so on -- and attempts to exlain the result by reference to the dispute between Mudavadi and Ruto. That's an entirely reasonable explanation, and it may even be true.

Sensationalism, whatever else it is, entails reporting the facts (if we're that lucky) in a context-free and unexplained way. In this instance, the clear winner in the sensationalism stakes is the Standard.

UrXlnc said...


i appreciate the analysis and your viewpoint which i respect

however, the issue still remains that you/we dont know the results and are now left to speculation and intelligent guesses based on the different reports by the "leading" press.

these events happened and someone recorded the results therefore just need to know the results and then we can conclude which of the papers made factual report (numberwise) and which one lied (cooked results). Additionaly we can suppose that either one of these is deliberately misleading or distorting facts for ulterior motives or they have in their employ journalists with dubious credentials

Ruto's popularity or not in kenya or ODM fraternity is the least of my concerns. We just need to know which media we can rely on for publishing credible material and not fiction.

i have no reason to question, applaud or discredit your argument above. and i also have no idea how or why the members voted or what their rationale was. the facts are in the numbers if i need understand the reason, i would ask the members for their reasons and these could be integrity or some weird thing like has been reported in the past where all they needed was to settle scores.

UrXlnc said...


just to be clear, it helps know which media has credible news and which media is indulging us in hallucinations

so now then we have this other story in the standard

do we understand there is some truth in what they say, is there sensationalism or do we speculate on the content?

am sure you agree it would be nice to have a credible media.

Vikii said...

Taabu, let me tell you one truth for free; United will exit the champions league at the first round knock-out stage. Inter will qualify for the quarter finals at Old Trafford. Just watch it. Jose is out to prove to all and sundry that he still rules the world of football. It excites me so much I am reminded of the 2004 Porto team. Of course and their dismissal of the old man.

I will repeat it, Taabu; If United go past this tie, they will build a skiing rersort in Kitui. Am just saying.

The Tinkerman is a man we are admittedly worried about. I watched their last weeks rout of Milan as well as Chelsea's mediocre performance against the Hammers and I am afraid Chelsea MUST improve if they expect to handle this young side. Amauri is one amazing talent. And while on this, does Alessandro Del Piero ever age? You remember those 1997 comparisons with Ronaldo (the real one, the phenomenon)? Well, its now 11 years later and Del Pierro continues to do amazing things. I am hoping that we will be able to stop them, however. Why not, we are Chelsea!

UrXlnc said...


sorry to distract your football discussion


this is the item in the standard article that hits me

When the 600 striking met on Wednesday, the manager (name withheld), was kicked out of the meeting amid accusations that he colluded with some commissioners to alter presidential results from polling centres, which in turn has put their jobs on the line.

They also claimed the manager went underground as soon ECK chairman Samuel Kivuitu declared President Kibaki winner. The staff we spoke claimed the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) officers were hired to alter results submitted by returning officers, adding that they lacked the capacity to stop the apparent breach of procedure as the rigging was in full view of some commissioners.

Fresh allegations

"When the returning officers arrived at the KICC, which was the command centre of the presidential poll, they were directed to report to the NSIS desk before handing Form 16(a) to ECK officials," one of them said and cited Juja constituency, where presidential votes were "topped up" in the open. The fresh allegations contradict the findings of the Independent Review Commission (Irec) chaired by retired South African judge Johann Kriegler, which investigated the conduct of the elections. Kriegler concluded that there was no rigging at KICC.


Taabu said...

Pole only an INSTITUTION can be KINGS of:
1. England
2. Europe
3. World.

I don't begrudge you with extending loayalty to Inter now that Chelsea is just another Londo club. Del Peiro is and was a gem but right now hate him love him we have the new KING OF THE GRASS=CR. Wait for your Kalou and Lamps(post).

We are the CHAMPIONSx10x3, dream on money buys no pedigree. And bring on Jose the good general and we will lend him soldiers, poor Mourinho!!!!

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