Teachers who skip class to attend IEBC training face disciplinary action, according to Teachers Service Commission (TSC) agents in the Counties.
Some officials said that primary school teachers had a crucial CBC national assessment to complete and that by attending the training, they would endanger the lives of students.
Others, however, have made it plain that teachers must perform their duties during school hours and must be present to help students.
Many instructors participate in IEBC temporary positions during elections as Presiding Officers (POs), Deputy Presiding Officers (DPOs), and Clerks.
Prior to the polls on August 9 the electoral authority intends to train the Presiding Officers, Deputy Presiding Officers, and Clerks.
Early next week, IEBC will begin teaching Presiding Officers and Deputy Presiding Officers. The training will begin on July 31 and last through August 3, 2022.
However, there will be school from August 1 through August 3, so if instructors attend the training, it will interfere with their responsibilities.
The clerks’ training will take place from August 5 to August 6, 2022. According to the school calendar, students will still be in class on August 5.
Teachers have gotten warnings verbally in some Sub Counties, but in others, like Rachuonyo North, they have received them in writing.
“Some Heads of Institutions are releasing instructors to attend an authorized IEBC course during working hours, it has come to my attention. Without prior approval from TSC, no instructor should participate in any training during regular business hours, according to a memo.
He also warned school administrators who release teachers for the IEBC training that they would be held accountable.
Teachers and their employers have previously clashed over absences from work to attend unapproved programs.
Teachers attended the Deputy Presiding Officer and Clerk interviews last month when IEBC welcomed candidates for positions as presiding officers; however, they took place during the school day.
Despite warnings from County Directors, Sub County Directors, Curriculum Support Officers, and Human Resource Officers, teachers showed up for the interviews.
TSC then issued a statement that it has not barred teachers from attending the interviews Through its official Facebook and Twitter handles TSC asked teachers to dismiss such news.
This contradicted with what TSC officials at the Counties and Sub Counties passed to teachers clearly indicating TSC Upper Hill officials have no issues with teachers taking part in the IEBC temporary jobs.
The Commission has however being warning teachers against taking part in active political engagements.
In Circular number 14/2020 dated 1/12/2020 the Commission prohibits teachers against taking part in any active political engagements while still in service of the Commission; and further requiring them to refrain from:
(1) holding office in a political party;
(2) engaging in a political activity that may compromise or be seen to compromise the political neutrality of the office they hold;
(3) publicly indicating support for or opposition to any political party or candidate in an election; and
(4) engaging in activities of any political party or candidate, or act as an agent of a political party or candidate in an election.
TSC CEO Dr Nancy Macharia says in congruence with the spirit of national values and good governance under the Constitution which includes impartiality and political neutrality, it is vital for all employees of the Commission to adhere to strict observance of the law in respect hereof by abstaining from taking part in political engagements.
In this regard, she ordered all employees of the Commission to shun partisan political activities while in active public service.
Macharia says any employee who currently holds and/or engages in political activities is in violation of the law and is liable to disciplinary action.
She advised such an employee to immediately resign from such office.
She further says any breach of the directions of the Circular shall result in disciplinary action.
On there part teachers say they are driven to take IEBC jobs because of high prices of food and general inflation. Many teachers say they are unable to attend to their duties due to low salaries which are already committed to loans.