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Thika Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Branch Chairperson Mr. J.B. Kimani has said that teachers are not opposed to the newly introduced appraisals by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) adding that they were just the usual things teachers have been doing over the years.

Speaking in his office when Thika Town Today visited him on Monday morning, JB teachers have no problem with the performance contracts as long as they were done in the right way. 

He added that performance contracting has become the norm in the mainstream government departments as a  tool to assess labour outputs based on a set of measurable objectives and matrices for evaluating their achievement within a given time frame. He said that if the authorities executed this exercise diligently, it would give a fairly objective assessment of the teachers' output and eventually better the results of the learners in both national examinations and co-curricular activities.

TSC has published guidelines for the appraisal of teachers and school heads as part of a drive to improve education standards in public schools despite opposition by unions. Teachers are to be checked on areas such as school and class attendance, quality of teaching, time management, innovation, pupil and student safety as well as their own conduct and discipline.

School heads are required to provide an oversight role in the performance appraisal for the teachers in their respective institutions as well as continuously monitoring and evaluating the appraisal process. They should submit these termly reports to the County Director of Education through their sub-County Director.

However, they too will not be spared scrutiny and will be rated on diverse parameters including the preparation of strategic plans for their institutions, maintaining budgets, keeping inventories, appraising teachers to boost performance among other tasks.

All these initiatives are intended to improve teacher performance competencies as well as improve learning outcomes. It will also inform key management decisions including assignment, training, promotion and deployment to administrative positions for tutors.

The appraisal scheme will cover teachers in primary and secondary schools, national polytechnics, technical training institutes, institutes of science and technology and diploma teacher colleges among others. It will appraise principals of technical training colleges, principals of diploma teacher colleges, heads of primary, secondary and teacher training colleges as well as director of the Kenya Institute of Special Education. 

Heads of institutions will be assessed on resource management, service delivery, maintenance of teaching standards and integrity and national values. They shall be responsible for the implementation of performance appraisal at the institutional level.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kimani feels that it was time both the government and the teachers through their union representative embraced dialogue in matters that affected the teachers. He said that confrontation was usually the last resort when all other avenues had been exhausted but resulted to no tangible solution. He hoped that 2016 would be an incident-free year for the teachers where they would achieve the much yearned for salary increase without having to go to the streets again.

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