Explainer: Why might a teacher be placed under interdiction?
The Teachers Service Commission took action recently to suspend a number of educators assigned to the northeastern region of Kenya.
Teachers who are placed on probation due to specific accusations are not fired; instead, they are suspended while inquiries are conducted.
The instructors were suspended by TSC on the basis that they had abandoned their jobs during rallies about the insecurity in the area at TSC headquarters, where they were requesting a transfer from North Eastern.
Desertion of duty, as defined by TSC, is a 14-day unbroken absence from work without authorization, including weekends and public holidays.
“This may be occasioned by failure to apply for sick leave, failure to report for posting after expiry of study leave, proceeding on study leave without approval or failure to report to new station after release,” according to the TSC.
If a teacher consistently misses class, they could also be suspended. Persistent and frequent absences from duty without authorization may be one way this shows up.
According to TSC, monthly staff returns, warning or show cause letters for absenteeism, daily attendance registers, casualty returns, and letters from authorities reporting a teacher’s absence are all examples of chronic absenteeism.
A teacher who has been found guilty of a crime may also be placed under suspension by the TSC.
“A teacher is interdicted upon being found guilty of criminal offences such as conviction of a sexual offence or any offence against a learner, conviction of a criminal offence such as murder, robbery, stealing, assault etc,” according to the commission.
Interdiction may also be justified by an individual’s unethical behavior. Engaging in sexual relations or activities with a student, regardless or not the student gives consent, is defined by TSC as immoral behavior on the part of the instructor.
“It includes sexual intercourse, sodomy, lesbianism, sexual harassment/flirtation – touching/kissing and generally making sexual advances to students in any learning institution,” according to the commission.
Failure to fulfill tasks by educators can also result in suspension. This could show itself as not teaching the classes that are scheduled, not creating professional documents like work plans, permitting exam cheating, marking papers with bogus grades, or not picking up the kids for extracurricular activities or official duties.
Another significant offense that can result in an injunction is insubordination.
Simpler examples of this could be not following formal instructions from supervisors, not responding to letters from supervisors or demonstrating reason, or not accepting a posting following a disciplinary procedure, transfer, or deployment.
Failure to follow recruitment guidelines, teaching without a teaching certificate, proceeding on transfer without official release, proceeding on other assignments not organized by the Commission without official release, or failing to handover/takeover an institution upon transfer are additional grounds for accusing a teacher of insubordination.
Unfavorable behavior in any professional capacity may also result in a teacher’s interdiction.
Any behavior that violates professional ethics in the opinion of the public is referred to as this by TSC.
“It includes among other behaviours use of abusive language, fighting in public, drunkenness, indecent/inappropriate dress code, peddling drugs, dealing in pornography, creating a disturbance, incitement and any conduct or behaviour against Chapter 6 of the Constitution,” according to the commission.
Interdiction for collaboration, impersonation, or forgery may also be applied to educators.
The commission is against bribery and corrupt business practices.
This can show up in a number of ways, such as paying teachers who aren’t on duty—such as deserters or dead people—failing to report desertion, using fake signatures and stamps to obtain registration, submitting inaccurate staff returns, submitting fake certificates or documents, and lying or manipulating information.
Interdiction is a possibility for educators who mismanage, misappropriate, or embezzle public monies.
Interdiction is a possibility for educators who misappropriate institutional funds for personal use, mishandle public funds, fail to account for public funds in accordance with applicable laws, disregard procurement procedures, ask for favors in exchange for services, fabricate information, or exercise poor management over resources entrusted to them.
Interdiction is another possibility for educators involved in major offenses and economic crimes.
These are violations of the Serious Crimes and Anti-Corruption Act (2003).
Economic crimes include paying excessive or fraudulent amounts from public coffers for goods and services that are either rendered or not; knowingly breaking any applicable laws, rules, or regulations about the purchase, distribution, sale, or disposal of property; bidding for contracts; handling money; incurring costs; or participating in institutional projects without first planning.
The Procedure for Discipline
When a teacher is discovered to have committed an offense, the disciplinary process starts in the institution where the teacher is employed. The accusations are then reported to the Board of Management, the TSC County Director, or the commission.
After receiving the allegations, the appropriate authority will look into the matter and gather proof to determine if the teacher is entitled to an answer.
After then, unless there are incidents of desertion, the authority will invite and question the teacher and any witnesses.
The authority will serve the teacher with a letter of interdiction outlining the precise accusations made against them if they are convinced that they have a case to answer.
Subsequently, the authority will forward a copy of the interdiction letter, along with any pertinent documentary proof, to the Secretary TSC/County Director.
Within 48 hours after receiving the letter of interdiction, an interdicted teacher is required to vacate and depart the establishment.
During the period of interdiction, the interdicted teacher will be paid half of their salary, with the exception of the following circumstances: persistent absences from work, abandonment, being incarcerated or under court order, misappropriation or mismanagement of public funds, making false claims and receiving money, using false credentials, forgery, impersonation, collusion, and immoral behavior.
Explainer: Why might a teacher be placed under interdiction?