The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) transferred Teacher Pressure Group (TPG) spokeswoman Martha Omollo from Nairobi to Trans Nzoia County, a day after she asked for the withdrawal of educator medical insurance under Aon Minet.
The TPG, according to him, closes the gap left by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) in fighting for the welfare of teachers.
Speaking to the Sunday Nation yesterday, Ms Omollo said the transfer was brutal and aimed at intimidating and silencing her and other teachers in speaking out against teachers’ frustration under medical cover and other injustices introduced by the TSC.
“On Friday I received a call from the director of the TSC in Nairobi County about the head teacher telling me that I should be careful what I said to the media and that any problems I had should go through the teachers’ unions,” he said.
At around 4pm, Ms Omollo said an TSC head office officer arrived at the school and handed her a letter of order instructing her to start school immediately.
“To my surprise the headmaster seemed to have been informed of my change as he had already written and signed a letter of resignation from the school, which he also gave me,” said Ms Omollo.
In a letter signed by TSC chief executive Fredrick Mwaniki on behalf of commission chief Nancy Macharia, Ms Omollo was instructed to report to the Trans Nzoia TSC regional director on Monday.
“The commission has decided to relocate from Nairobi to Trans Nzoia County from November 15 to teach all subjects,” read a November 12 letter.
Ms Macharia also instructed the TSC director in Nairobi to inform the head of the commission on the day he will leave the district.
He said the release date should not take more than 14 days.
Ms Macharia also instructed the TSC director of Trans-Nzoia to inform the head of the commission on the date on which Ms Omollo will report.
“Please note that it is an offense to leave your channel and join another one without being officially released in writing according to the TSC Code of Regulation for teachers,” the letter read.
Mr Wilson Irungu, headmaster of Mowlem Supaloaf Primary School, where Ms Omollo teaches four subjects, confirmed the transfer and thanked the staff for their work.
“I wish to confirm that Martha Menya Omollo has been released from Mowlem Supaloaf Primary School from today 12 November onwards. I would like to thank you for your service to the center,” read Mr Irungu’s letter dated November 12.
Ms Omollo told the Sunday Nation that when asked about the reason for the change, a TSC official said “the commission treats your transfers like everyone else”.
After receiving the letter, Ms Omollo said she had asked about her incapacity allowance which should be commensurate with her salary, but the official was not committed.
“I have decided to report to the Trans Nzoia commission office on Monday so that I can be sent to the school I am supposed to teach, but after that I will go to court because that decision was made because of malpractice,” said Ms Omollo.
Ms Macharia did not return a call from Sunday Nation or an SMS sent to her mobile phone number on the matter.
Ms Omollo said when a teacher is transferred, the letter is sent to the TSC district director, then to the sub-district director and then forwarded to the principal who transfers the letter.
He went on to say that the plan does not happen overnight as it did in his case.
“I have instructed my lawyer not to take up the matter,” said Omollo.
TPG has called for the withdrawal of medical cover AON Minet saying teachers are frustrated when they seek treatment.
The group has been pushing for teachers to oppose the teacher skills development program. Last week, Ms Omollo was summoned by the TSC and ordered to withdraw the call for teachers to resist TPD.