The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has defended delocalisation of teachers, saying that it is not made to punish tutors but aims to promote national cohesion.
Appearing before the Senate Committee on Education, TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia on Thursday acknowledged that the transfers had some flaws at the beginning, but the agency has since fixed them.
“Delocalisation is simply a transfer; we want to ensure that teachers do not teach in their locality for their entire teaching life but are exposed to other cultures,” said Mrs Macharia.
The CEO said the commission has since stopped transferring teachers to far-flung regions from their counties.
For primary school teachers, she said, tutors are transferred from one sub-county to another within the same county or in counties near their home counties.
“Secondary school teachers who are transferred to other counties are those who have been promoted to senior positions which they applied for,” she said.
The delocalisation programme, career development programme and teachers appraisals are some of the policies which have fuelled a bad relationship between the commission and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut).
Knut has also been asking the commission to promote teachers using the schemes of service.
But the teachers’ employer said they can only promote teachers using the career progression guidelines.
Mrs Macharia told the Education Committee chaired by Dr Alice Milgo that the commission has been promoting teachers using career progression guidelines.
“The promotion of teachers is based on availability of funds, seniority and experience as spelt out in the career progression guidelines,” she said.
Mrs Macharia also said the commission is committed to addressing the issue of teachers shortage in the country.
Currently, she said, the teacher shortage stands at 103,481 while those under employment are 320,000.
Mrs Macharia said the commission has developed staffing norms to guide staffing for primary schools.
She said staffing is based on one teacher per class plus one.
For post-primary institutions, Mrs Macharia said staffing is done based on curriculum based establishment (CBE).
She said the commission has consistently requested for increased budgetary provision to employ 20,000 teachers annually.
However, she said, this has not borne fruit as the National Assembly appropriates Sh2.5 billion annually for recruitment of only 5,000 teachers.
She said that in 2018, the commission projected to recruit an additional 12,626 teachers annually in four years.
The commission had requested Sh5 billion for the recruitment but this was not honoured by the National Assembly.