Teachers Service Commission (TSC) statement on: Bullying, Corporal punishment, Forced Repetition, Holiday Tuition, Prescribe Learning Hours, Safety Standards, Sexual Abuse, Drug and Substance Abuse, and Harmful Cultural Practices.
Statement from TSC
All Heads of Institution are directed to ensure adequate measures are in place to safeguard the rights of all learners in line with the provisions of the Constitution, TSC Act, 2012, Basic Education Act and Code of Regulations for Teachers (2015) and the Teachers Service Commission Code of Conduct and Ethics (2015). In particular, attention should be paid to the following:
- Bullying: All forms of bullying should be eradicated in learning institutions. In particular, learners should be protected from any form of bullying, whether physical, verbal or psychological. Prefects should be sensitized on their role in school governance, which does not include punishing learners in any way.
- Corporal punishment: Under no circumstances should corporal punishment, or use of physical force to inflict pain, be administered to learners. All teachers are cautioned that corporal punishment, or any other degrading treatment constitutes a professional and/or criminal offence and can lead to disciplinary action and/or prosecution in court of law. Further it will be considered a professional offence to keep canes in staffrooms, offices, classrooms or any part of the school.
- Forced Repetition: Forced repetition is prohibited under Section 35 of the Basic Education Act. All learners should be assisted to transit to the next class and complete any given segment of education in the learning cycle.
- Holiday Tuition: All schools should operate within the term dates issued by the Cabinet Secretary for Education. No learners should be detained in school after the end of the term or recalled before the official opening dates.
- Prescribe Learning Hours: It has been noted that in some Day Schools learners are forced to report to school before dawn and are released long after dusk. This posses a security risk. Heads of Institution are required to ensure that learners report and leave within the prescribed hours.
- Safety Standards: All schools should comply with the Safety Standards Manual for Schools in Kenya. Physical facilities such as classrooms, dormitories, libraries, laboratories, kitchen, and water tanks should be safe, appropriate and well maintained and clean.
- Sexual Abuse: Cases of sexual abuse, whether within or outside the school, should be thoroughly investigated, documented and action taken with expediency. Where the offence is of both criminal and professional nature, police and other security agencies should be involved in investigations. It is emphasized that Heads of Institution and teachers should be in the forefront in protecting learners against sexual abuse.
- Drug and Substance Abuse: Learners should be protected from exposure to drug and substance abuse through stringent surveillance programmes to make the learning and surroundings environment free of drugs. Guidance and counselling should be intensified to sensitize learners, parents and guardians on the dangers of drug and substance abuse.
- Harmful Cultural Practices: Heads of institutions should liaise with Security enforcement agencies in addressing harmful cultural practices such as early marriages for learners, exploitation and child labour.
The Commission wishes to reiterate on the need to comply with legal and policy provisions on the rights, security and general well-being of learners. TSC County Directors should enlist the assistance of all stakeholders to ensure full compliance with the contents of this circular.
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