The ongoing tussle over the management of former academic powerhouse Starehe Boys Centre and School has today taken a new turn after Teachers Service Commission protested the suspension of the school’s Principal Mr Paul Mugo.
In terse press release, TSC termed the purported suspension (one month leave) as ‘inviting anarchy’ to the management of the institution.
The press release reads:
“The attention of the Teachers Service Commission is drawn to media reports on the decision by the Managing Committee of Starehe Boys Centre and School to send the principal Mr Paul W. Mugo, an employee of the Teachers Service Commission, on purported compulsory leave for one month.
The Teachers Service Commission would like to address the said Managing Committee and all other stakeholder as follows:
I. The Commission has provided the school with 53 teachers who are paid by the Government through the taxpayers’ money. In addition, the Government dismburses subsidies to Starehe Boys Centre like is the case with all other public schools. The Managing Committee cannot, therefore, take unilateral decisions without the involvement of such key stakeholders as the Teachers Service Commission and Ministry of Education Science and Technology.
II. The Managing Committee has no mandate whatsoever under any law to send a headteacher or any other teacher employed by the Commission on compulsory leave for whatever reasons. There are clearly stipulated mechanisms to deal with any grievance or allegations without inviting anarchy to the management of institution. In any case, due process has to be taken into account while taking action on an employee.
III. Any action on an employee of the Teachers Service Commission can only be taken within the framework of Article 237(2) of the Constitution, the Teachers Service Commission Act, 2012, the Code of Regulation for Teachers and the Basic Education Act, 2013. The Commission has no provision in its policies and administrative instruments for sending a teacher on compulsory leave.
IV. The decision by the Managing Committee to deploy another teacher to perform the duties of the principal is equally misguided and, consequently, a nullity. It is only the Commission that can make such an appointment. In the meantime, Mr Mugo has been advised to continue performing the duties of the Principal of Starehe Boys Centre and School. He is the bonafide headteacher duly appointed by the Commission in line with Section 11(e) of the Teachers Service Commission Act, 2012.
Finally, the Commission is open for consultations at all times to address any issues pertinent to the wellbeing of Starehe. This is the only way to safeguard the interest of all the stakeholders, particularly students.
GABRIEL K LENGOIBONI, CBS
TEACHERS SERVICE COMMISSION
Former students of the institution however welcomed the suspension of the principal, terming it a re-balancing of the institution to have both an ‘academic and national face’. The students accuse Mugo of introducing runaway tribalism in one of Kenya’s top intellectual laboratories.
“Starehe isn’t doing well not just because of ineptitude but also because of tribalism. Entry and promotion in the institution after (Dr) Griffins has been based more on the surnames than meritocracy,” a former student of the institution now an undergraduate in a local university revealed to this writer.
The school commitee suspended the Principal, Mr Paul Mugo. Deputy Principal Peter Ndung’u took over pending replacement of the principal. However, TSC’s move to reinstate the Mr. Mugo now opens the school to more scrutiny as stakeholders ponder on what’s going on.
In 2008, the school had 24 students in top 100 nationally. Two years later, only one boy made it to top 100. Last year, the school was ranked position 17 nationally.