Teachers who take up temporary jobs as polling officials or party agents will face disciplinary action as the government moves to “de-politicise” the profession.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) said any of the 305,000 teachers will be punished for accepting political party or Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) jobs even if the engagement coincides with their holidays.
“It is illegal for any teacher to attend IEBC training as Presiding Officers, Deputy Presiding Officers, Polling Clerks or an agent of any political party whether during working day or over the holiday,” the TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia said in a circular to school heads and education ministry officials dated July 3.
She warned teachers against other jobs during school holidays “which are normal working days where teachers are paid”.
“The Code of Regulations of teachers prohibits teachers from being partisan in any political set up,” the circular states adding that activities relating to the General Election should not be allowed to impede performance of teaching duties at all learning institutions.
The ban is another blow to IEBC which normally hires teachers as its polling officials. The more than 30,000 schools have until August 4 to close officially in order to pave the way for the August 8 General Election with the opening date for term three set for August 24.
Mrs Macharia directed school heads to ensure that during the campaigns there is no interruption of teaching and learning.
“Breach of the foregoing directions will result in disciplinary action as a result of absconding duty and insubordination of the employer,” said Mrs Macharia.
Schools will be used as polling stations or tallying centres and school heads are under instruction to safeguard and protect properties from would-be law breakers.
Last month, the government stopped the use of institutional facilities and equipment for political purposes.
Education principal secretary Bellio Kipsang also stopped hiring of school buses and facilities by anyone other than public institutions unless with the concurrence of the sub-county director of education.