The Teachers Service Commission has defended the recent order requiring teachers to report to work on weekends.
Chairperson Lydia Nzomo said the directive is not harsh as teachers’ unions termed it, but is meant to ensure that pupils are not left unattended.
Addressing media in Chuka Boys High School on Friday after holding an indoor meeting with Tharaka Nithi County school heads, Ms Nzomo said extra-curricular activities are not only slated for weekends but can also be done during weekdays when learning is over.
“Classes end at 3:30pm and this gives enough time for extra-curricular activities,” Ms Nzomo said.
She added that the new circular dated February 2 allows teachers to seek written permission to be away from their institutions when extra-curricular activities are taking place on weekends or public holidays.
Ms Nzomo asked the unions (Knut) to refrain from misleading their members as the new changes are meant to improve the welfare of both teachers and students.
According to the TSC, the guidelines are meant to curb absenteeism and retain teachers’ contact with students for effective curriculum implementation.
She also warned teachers against caning students and asked them to apply “emotional intelligence in enforcing discipline”.
She said corporal punishment is against the law and any teacher found culpable would face the full force of the law.
The warning comes as police in Chogoria, Maara Sub-county continue to investigate a case where teachers in Mwimbi boarding Primary School were filmed caning pupils.