TSC error costs teacher promotion

A teacher who had, for four years, tried but failed to secure promotion because her Masters degree papers were not in her employment file with the Teachers Service Commission is still crying for justice.

Ms Jane Kerubo Mogire (TSC number 340787) had not been elevated despite making several applications whenever the opportunities were announced by the TSC.

This arose because her degree papers were in the file of her namesake, Ms Jane Kerubo Mogire (TSC number 216760), who then became eligible and benefited from such promotion.

READ: TSC promotes 10,000 teachers

IRREGULARITY
Although the commission termed the anomaly “an innocent and regrettable mistake which has been corrected”, Ms Kerubo (TSC No. 340787) said all the privileges that had “mistakenly” been enjoyed by Ms Kerubo (TSC No. 216760) have not been accorded to her in full.

Upon realising the irregularity, the TSC wrote to Ms Kerubo (TSC No. 216760), informing her that it had been noted that she was erroneously designated as a Graduate Teacher II, instead of Approved Teacher IV, from January 1, 2011.

The anomaly was corrected from September 1, 2016.

MONEY RECOVERED
The letter to Ms Kerubo (TSC No. 216760) stated that the overpayment had been computed at Sh1,201,558 and the amount “shall be recovered at a monthly instalment of Sh8,228.65”.

On rectifying the anomaly, the TSC awarded Ms Kerubo (TSC No. 340787) her rightful three years incremental credit on account of her Masters degree certificate.

Ms Kerubo (TSC No. 340787) however said the Sh1.2 million recovered from her namesake due to wrongful payment is yet to appear in her bank account despite the employer having admitted there had been an “anomaly”.

NAME ARRANGEMENT
She is also aggrieved that the Employment and Labour Relations Court judgment of April 21 did not grant all the orders she was seeking against the TSC in a case she had filed through a lobby — the Kenya Council of Employment and Migration Agencies.

As a result, she has filed a notice of appeal against the verdict.

However, according to the TSC, during their employment, the two teachers coincidentally used the name permutations of Jane Kerubo Mogire, Mogire K. Jane, to individually and variously refer to themselves.

PROMOTION

On January 20, 2011, the commission received certified copies of Bachelors and a Masters degree certificates, together with the respective transcripts, in respect of Ms Jane Mogire Kerubo.

These documents did not indicate the teacher’s TSC number.

“The documents were, in innocent error, filed in the personal file of Mogire Jane Kerubo (TSC No. 216760).

“Accordingly, she was promoted to Graduate Teacher II (Job Group K) on account of the Bachelor’s degree and awarded three annual incremental credits due to the Masters degree as per the existing scheme of service for graduate teachers,” the TSC said in its court papers.

CORRUPTION
The controversy started when, on August 24, 2015, the TSC received a complaint from Mr Samwel Nyakundi, the head teacher of Gesusu Chibwobi Primary School, that Ms Mogire Jane Kerubo (TSC No. 216760), was not a graduate teacher.

“As per the record held in the school office, Mogire Jane Kerubo (TSC No. 216760) never attended any lecture hall in any university within or outside the country.

“Grading her as Graduate Teacher II is the highest form of corruption and an abuse of university status.

“Previous records show her being awarded approved teacher status. For smooth recording, please research and advise,” Mr Nyakundi said in his letter.

NEGLIGENCE
The commission launched investigations into the matter and interviewed both teachers, and the anomaly was corrected.

In her court papers, Ms Kerubo (TSC No. 216760) however said she had never sought any promotion on the basis of a Bachelors degree certificate but a P1 certificate and subsequent teachers’ proficiency courses.

“I have the liberty to pursue the TSC for the negligence and material error visited on me.

“The records are kept by the TSC and all approvals are done by the commission, hence regarding any ‘innocent error’, they ought to have notified me on the same in good time, and cannot result in any purported downgrading from my current grade AT4 to P1” Ms Kerubo (TSC No. 216760) said in her court papers.

RETIREMENT AGE
She said she had no role whatsoever regarding the act or omission on the part of the TSC, hence any penalty meted on her would be inappropriate, unreasonable and punitive.

This is not the only instance where controversy on teachers’ employment, touching on a teacher and the TSC, has occurred.

Last year, the High Court arrested an attempt by a teacher to backdate her retirement age so as to continue in employment.

Ms Nancy Mwari Doughlas told the court that in her application for employment in 1983, she had stated her year of birth as 1956.

She said when she was informed by her biological mother that she was born in 1960, she sought to rectify the misrepresentation in her official documents.

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