A PAPER PRESENTED BY MR. GABRIEL K. LENGOIBONI,EBS

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A PAPER PRESENTED BY MR. GABRIEL K. LENGOIBONI,EBS,
SECRETARY/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
TEACHERS SERVICE COMMISSION
ON
OPPORTUNITIES, PROGRESS AND
OVERCOMING CHALLENGES IN EMPLOYMENT OF
TEACHERS WITH DISABILITIES
DURING THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON
DISABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY RIGHTS ON 27TH
JUNE 2012
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INTRODUCTION
•
Disability is not a minority concern. It is part of the Human condition influencing
directly or indirectly to the life of hundreds of Millions of individuals in all parts of
the world.
•
The Commission attaches great value to its over 269,060 workforce spread
throughout the country, part of which are persons with disabilities. These; like
other employees, have contributed a great deal to make the Commission one of
the leading organizations in service delivery in the region. Needless to say,
employees with disabilities face unique challenges in the course of meeting the
demands of employment. These are diverse as the disabilities themselves and to a
large extent affect their performance. It is noteworthy that the Commission has
over the years, been one of few organizations employing Persons with Disabilities
while many organizations shunned them. This goes to testify that the Commission
has always desired to improve the welfare of PWDs even long before the Disability
Act came into force in 2003.
•
As an employer we have encountered many forms of disabilities. There are those
disabilities that employees have at the time of employment while others are
caused by many forms of disasters that affect them in the course of duty.
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KENYA CONSTITUTION
• The Constitution of Kenya 2010 has mandated Teachers
Service Commission to:
• Register trained teachers
• Recruit and employ registered teachers
• Assign teachers employed by the Commission for
service in any public school or institution
• Promote and transfer teachers among others
• To execute this mandate the Commission is guided by
the following legal and regulatory framework;• The Constitution of Kenya 2010
• The TSC Act. Cap 212
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The Employment Act 2007
The Persons with Disabilities Act 2003
Code of Regulations for Teachers
Schemes of Service for Teachers
TSC Policy on Employees with Disabilities
Other legal and regulatory guidelines.
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• Rights of persons with disabilities are enshrined
in various international instruments including the
UN Standard Rules on the Equalization of
opportunities, the UN Convention on the Rights
of Persons with Disabilities and the Salamanca
Statement on Inclusion. These instruments on
disability seek to eliminate discriminatory
practices by creating an enabling environment
that enhances access to opportunities and
services for persons with disabilities. The
government domesticated these instruments and
developed the Persons with Disabilities Act of
2003.
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• On compliance, the Commission has adhered
to the UN Convention which state that:• Persons with disabilities have equal rights to
work and gain an adequate standard of living.
• It observes the ILO Convention 159 of 1983
which emphasizes the fact that persons with
disabilities have a right to decent work, social
security and there is need for promotion of
employment opportunities for them
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• In compliance with the provision of the persons with
Disabilities Act 2003 the Commission developed its
own policy on Employees with Disabilities.
•
• The main objective of the policy is to provide equal
opportunities between the persons with disabilities
and those without. It seeks to establish social and
economic independence for persons with disabilities
through their own efforts and labour.
•
• In helping persons with disabilities every effort has
been made to enable them live in their own
communities to support families and community
groups who are working with them.
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• To date, the Commission has employed a total of
704 teachers with disabilities. Out of this total
474 are male and 230 female. The Secretariat
has a total of 29 staff with 18 male and 11
female. In employment and promotion of
teachers the Commission is guided by the
principles of non-discrimination, equity and
fairness. In deployment the guiding principle is
where the services of the teacher are needed
most but the welfare of teachers with disabilities
is taken into consideration. Such teachers are
deployed to areas with adequate accessibility.
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• Teachers with visual impairment (blind
teachers) are paid Readers Allowance at the
rate of Ksh.7,785/= per month. This is to
enable them employ a reader for effective
performance of duty
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• In enhancing the participation of the people
living with disabilities the Commission has
been encouraging more teachers to pursue
studies in special education through provision
of study leave with pay for those admitted to
undergo training at all levels. This is aimed at
facilitating rehabilitation of the affected
persons both teachers and students to
improve their participation in regular school
and community services and activities.
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• The commission has complied with the
Disability Act which provides that employees
with disabilities are entitled to exemption
from tax on all income accruing from their
employment. To date the commission has
effected 737 tax exemptions for teachers with
disabilities in compliance with exemptions by
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA)
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• The commission has complied with the
Disability Act which provides that employees
with disabilities are entitled to exemption
from tax on all income accruing from their
employment. To date the commission has
effected 737 tax exemptions for teachers with
disabilities in compliance with exemptions by
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA)
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CHALLENGES
• When an employer brings in its employment a person with
disability, it becomes easy to place that employee in an
environment that they can fully function. However, one of the
major challenges faced by the Commission is the deployment of an
employee who gets disabilities in the course of employment.
• Accessibility – Teachers with disabilities in rural areas are not able
to access our advertisements for recruitment and promotion. This
denies them an opportunity to apply and compete with the rest of
the applicants.
• Some teachers with disabilities have a wrong attitude towards
themselves because they have self pity, feel inadequate and not
acceptable. This may lead to under performance of their duties and
may also affect their performance during promotion interviews.
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• In some instances, teachers with disabilities fear change hence are
reluctant to apply for recruitment and promotion fearing transfer
outside their perceived comfort zones.
• Some teachers with disabilities shy away from co-curricullar
activities though they have the abilities for the same.
• Disability unfriendly infrastructure has posed a challenge in
deploying teachers with disabilities to schools where their services
are needed most. There is also lack of equipment specially
designed for teachers with disabilities e.g., Braille and Computers
• The Community’s negative attitude towards persons with
disabilities is likely to undermine the performance of teachers with
disabilities and hamper their career growth. In some instances
during recruitment, persons with disabilities are left out by TSC
agents in contravention of recruitment guidelines which provide for
equal opportunities to all applicants. The Commission has always
intervened in such cases.
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• Some teachers do not declare their disabilities
on application for employment forms for fear
of being disqualified on grounds of disability.
This has posed a challenge to the Commission
having adequate and comprehensive records
on teachers with disabilities.
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MITIGATION
• The Commission has put in place the following strategies to mitigate
against the challenges.
• The registration form has been re-designed to capture the nature, type
and severity of the disability.
• In recruitment the Commission will ensure that all employees are given
equal opportunities. Secondary school teachers with one teaching subject
and special education have been recruited.
• The Commission shall endeavor to deploy employees with disabilities to
positions and status that enhances their performance and will be
sensitive to transfer request from employees with disabilities.
• The Commission will encourage employees with disabilities to apply for
positions of responsibility.
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• On remuneration the Commission will consider to pay allowances
necessary for effective performance of duty e.g. readers allowance
and special duty allowance.
• On workplace environment the Commission will endeavor to make
its premises and other facilities comply with the requirement of the
Act.
• The Commission will undertake to support employees who get
disabilities in the course of duty by facilitating access to
rehabilitation programmes by granting them leave of absence to
attend such programmes.
• To ease communication the Commission will endeavor to modify
the various forms of communication to accommodate employees
with various terms of disabilities e.g. have some information in
Braille.
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WAY FORWARD
• The Commission shall endeavor to do the following:
• Observe the five percent rule in the employment of
persons with disabilities.
• Sensitize TSC County Directors and Board of Governors
on persons with disabilities matters.
• Continue disability mainstreaming efforts in the entire
Commission.
• Maintain the partnership with the National Council for
Persons with Disabilities with the view of adequately
addressing matters of persons with disabilities.
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• THANK YOU!
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