The proposal to take employment of Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers to Counties is facing resistance from governors.
The Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) which is charged for mainstreaming reforms in education in its final report submitted to President William Ruto has proposed that TSC be given the mandate to recruit and remunerate the teachers.
However a number of governors including some Council of Governors (CoG) committee members have opposed the taskforce recommendations.
Taita Taveta governor, Andrew Mwadime, who chairs the Water, Forestry and Natural Resources Management Committee says the government should respect devolution and not interfere with its mandate.
Tana River governor Dhadho Godhana and Narok governor Patrick Ole Ntuntu who also share the views say the government should release funds to implement devolution instead of changing the constitution to take their duties.
This is the second time the government is taking county governments mandate.
A meeting between President William Ruto and a health workers’ union officials on February 14 to plan the takeover of health functions from counties angered governors.
The meeting, which took place at State House, also proposed the formation of the Health Risk Commission, an independent body that will oversee the management of human resources for health, including recruitment, promotion and the provision of all services within the health sector.
This is seen by the county bosses as an encroachment on the devolved function and they have since warned the national government to stop interfering and frustrating the sector.
Though the Council of Governors proposed to employ ECDE teachers on permanent terms and pay those with Certificates sh24387, those with Diplomas sh34395, and Graduates sh46,494 per month this is not happening in most counties.
In fact many counties are yet to employ the teachers on permanent terms. This means majority of ECDE teachers are working on contract terms and are paid varying salaries with the term ‘caregivers’ been used to refer to them.
This will be the second attempt to move employment of ECDE teachers to TSC after the initial one was thwarted by the Labour and Relations Court.
The constitution mandates TSC to register trained teachers and also recruit and employ those registered and assign them for service in any public school or institution.
However Schedule 4 of the constitution outlines pre-primary and vocational training as functions of the County Governments.
County governments are mandated to oversee pre-primary education and childcare facilities, including the recruitment of the teachers.
Majority of ECDE teachers however want to be moved from counties payroll, saying it is discriminative and unpredictable.
The team proposed a change in the role of TSC in managing the ECDE teachers once the proposal is adopted.
The team says ECDE teachers with Diplomas should be placed in same job group as P1 teachers and to be paid same salaries and allowances.