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KUPPET Opposes New Directives On Principals’ Qualification

The teachers union, Kenya Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), has condemned a directive requiring that principals and deputy principals should have a Master’s degree.

The union’s Secretary-General, Akello Misori, claimed that the new requirements are not only punitive but also discriminatory.

In an advert published in August, the Teachers Service Commission had required that teachers seeking to fill principal and deputy principal be holders of a Master’s degree.

Misori claimed that the new requirement was made in bad faith. Thus, he demanded that the Master’s degree requirement be withdrawn immediately.

Misori argued that “Not everyone who has got a Master’s degree can become a secondary school principal.” Instead, he reiterated that the service delivery of school heads should be evaluated based on their experience and quality of work as opposed to “just papers”.

“Possessing a Master’s degree is not a guarantee that one is fit to manage an institution, as some institution heads do not have the Master’s degree,” he said.

Misori made the remarks while addressing Kuppet’s Migori Branch during their annual general meeting last Friday. He urged TSC’s boss Nancy Macharia to review and withdraw the requirement since its implementation will discourage teachers from performing at their optimal levels. Misori said that Kuppet expects the commission to appraise teachers rather than oppress them. Therefore, it would have been better if they had promoted deputy principals who had served for a long time to be full principals instead of increasing the qualification.

“The proposed new guideline is not a healthy approach as it will lower the morale of teachers who have been appraised based on sheer hard work and merit,” Misori said.

Misori claimed that TSC had not consulted with teachers before implementing the new qualification, which they ought to have done.

Kuppet Migori Branch Chairman Henry Otunga supported Misori by adding that a university degree is not a sufficient requirement for a teacher to rise to the principal position.

“The conditions set are not only punitive, but it also doesn’t conform to the code of regulations for teachers and is against the wellbeing of teachers,” Otunga said.

Kuppet wants TSC to stick with the present career guidelines where teachers could gain promotions without the necessity of acquiring a Master’s degree.

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