More than 280 teachers accused of skipping training on the new curriculum have struck a deal with their employer to avoid possible sacking.
In the deal, the teachers withdrew the cases they had lodged in court challenging their interdiction by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) in exchange for “lenient” punishment.
Last week, 15 teachers approached the Labour court requesting to have their names removed from the case filed by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) to allow the TSC to handle and determine their cases using the administrative process.
On Friday, Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion admitted that the union had allowed the teachers to withdraw the cases.
“The said teachers asked Knut to allow them to withdraw from the case and have the matter solved by TSC and we allowed them to,” said Mr Sossion.
Several affected teachers who spoke to Nation in confidence said they had been pushed to the wall after TSC stopped their salaries for months, rendering them incapable of servicing their loans.
They were also unsure of when the cases would be concluded given the country’s lengthy judicial processes.
TSC interdicted them for failing to attend a training on the competency based curriculum conducted in April.
The teachers were also worried that despite the matter being in court, more of their colleagues were still being suspended by their employer.
Under the deal, a majority of the affected teachers will be pardoned and disciplinary action taken only against those found guilty of having disrupted the training in various parts of the country.
Apart from being interdicted, a number of teachers are also facing criminal cases in various courts for allegedly hiring goons to force their colleagues who were taking part in the training to abandon it.
Following the agreement, the teachers have allowed TSC to review their cases and take whatever action it deems fit.
The teachers had challenged TSC’s decision to interdict them, saying it was made without due consideration of existing regulations.
Knut had cited failure to comply with the TSC Code of Regulations, and to hear the affected teachers side of the story.
On Monday, Labour Court Judge Byram Ongaya allowed Knut’s request to have the matter withdrawn.
In individual letters sent by TSC county directors, the teachers were directed to stay away from duties.
The court had earlier issued orders stopping TSC from proceeding with the disciplinary against the 280 teachers. This saw teachers remain suspended without salary.
The reasons for the suspension included neglecting their duties by refusing to attend the curriculum training, inciting teachers who were attending the training and insubordination.
Mr Sossion had accused the ministry of seeking to implement the new curriculum without a sessional paper and public participation.