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Government gazettes new code of conduct for schools

Government has gazetted statutory Instrument 72 of 2016 governing the running of Government and council schools with viewing pornographic material, refusing to work overtime and sleeping on duty dismissible offences.

The objective of the SI is to ensure that all employees in schools observe standards of conduct that improve productivity, performance and reputation of the schools, enhance harmonious working relations conducive to optimal productivity and develop a culture of internal resolution of matters at schools, among other things.

It also spells the duties and obligations of the School Development Associations or Committees.

These include among other things to be familiar with the code and to observe it all the times, issue guidelines on grievance and disciplinary processes and to ensure timeous implementation of agreements.
Government gazettes new code of conduct for schools
The SI lists as serious offences misuse of school property, smoking in prohibited places, doing private business during working hours, incompetence, neglect of duty, absenteeism, among other things.

It spells out dismissible acts of misconduct as embezzlement, fraud, sexual harassment, assault, damaging school property, theft and refusing to work overtime.

Sleeping on duty is also a serious offence.

“It is a misconduct if an employee sleeps on duty instead of performing his or her duties. An employee has a duty to be awake throughout the period of his or her shift and therefore he or she neglects that duty if he or she falls asleep.

Sleeping on duty is aggravated if the job involves security or operating machines and the injury or damage caused cost more than $501,00,” reads the SI.

Inefficiency is also an offence.

Inefficiency is described as failure to perform work to the required standard or if the employee “is unable to do his or her work with the level of skill and speed which would be reasonably expected of an employee qualified for that particular job”.

Displaying a lack of appropriate skills also amounts to a dismissible offence.

On overtime, the SI states that: “An employee commits misconduct if he or she refuses to work overtime or perform standby duties when one is given adequate notice by a person in authority.”

Under sexual harassment, it lists as an offence “viewing of pornographic or sexually explicit material on Internet and distribution of such material by e-mail to fellow employees and school children and if sex is demanded for favours promised.”

Illegal job action is also cited as a dismissible offence as well as incitement to strike.

So is bribery, misappropriation and forgery.

The gazetting of the SI follows reports on mismanagement of schools, corruption and misappropriation of resources by SDC and school heads.
Source: Govt gazettes new code of conduct for schools

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