Threat on teachers


I REFER to yesterday’s issue of The National (page 5) in which the Education Minister threatened to suspend teachers who do not produce NID cards.
The minister made this statement when signing a memorandum of understanding (MOA) for the issuing of NID cards for teachers.
This statement is morally, ethically, logically and legally improper.
Moreover, the minister and the Education secretary did not consult the Teaching Service Commission on their views in relation to the MOA.
Worse still, the TSC was not a party to the MOA nor was it included in the programme where the signing took place.
Section 9 (1) (c ) of the Teaching Service Act specifically provides that one of the many functions of the Teaching Service Commission is to act as agent for the State as an employer of all teachers.
The omission of TSC in being a party to the MOA, and more importantly, not to be consulted on anything regarding teachers’ issues, is contrary to law.
In relation to the threat, the minister does not have the right to suspend teachers.
The powers of the minister, as one of the educational authorities within the national education system, are defined and do not give him the ulti-mate powers to suspend or even charge teachers.
The power to suspend teachers under the laws is still vested on TSC and not even the secretary.
The minister, being the administrative and political head of the secretary and the TSC, does not make him assume all legislated powers of the sec-retary and the TSC because all these educational authorities have separate powers and functions specifically provided under the Education and Teaching Service Laws.
However, the need for teachers nationwide to have National Identification cards is necessary as a way of identifying ghost teachers who are on the payroll.
But again this cannot be achieved within three months, which is impractical since most teachers are in rural areas and have already started on their six-week leave.
Teachers nationwide are advised not to be worried about the threat.


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