The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) may be forced to reconsider its position as legislatures take the Commission head on regarding teacher qualifications in employment and promotions.
The Members of Parliament (Mps), now want TSC to allow teachers who scored KCSE mean grade C (plain) or below and acquired Diploma’s, Post graduate Diploma’s and Degree’s from various accredited learning institutions to be promoted and deployed.
The law makers argue that TSC cannot trash qualifications which universities agreed and led to the teachers to acquire the higher academic papers.
“Look at the kind of salaries teachers earn, If someone can sacrifice part of that salary to improve his or her education it doesn’t make sense that once you complete then that very paper you toiled so hard , four years plus, to get, that it doesn’t add any value to your life,” said Suba Mp John Mbadi earlier today in Parliament.
Mbadi said it is unacceptable for teachers to retire with their papers they invested heavily to acquire.
ODM nominated Mp Wilson Sossion had filed a petition (004/2022) in Parliament thwarting TSC move to block teachers with mean C (plain) and below from promotion.
The petition subject : REFUSAL BY THE TEACHERS SERVICE COMMISSION TO ACKNOWLEDGE UNDERGRADUATES, GRADUATES AND POST GRADUATES QUALIFICATIONS ATTAINED BY INSERVICE TEACHERS FROM RECOGNIZED UNIVERSITIES.
Sossion and other Mps argue that TSC has no power to regulate entry grade to universities and colleges and so its out of order to bar teachers from promotion and employment.
Mbadi says their should be no other body to trash the minimum entry requirements set by universities and colleges that offer training.
The lawmaker says when one makes a decision to further their education they invest heavily and this cannot be taken lightly not even with TSC.
Mbadi wants the problem solved once and for all even if it means allocating more resources. He asked the Education Committee members to look into the matter deeply even if it means new budget allocation for teachers.
“If there is budget allocation that may be needed to solve this issue let it be submitted so that we can show respect to our teachers,” said Mbadi
Nyaribari Chache Mp, Tongi Richard, also supported the petition by Wilson Sossion saying teachers need to be respected and not punished.
“We would not have doctors and professionals we have in Kenya if it were not for teachers. We all fail exams at some point in time depending on circumstances at that time. If a teacher has gone back to school because he or she has realized the opportunity and value they would add to Kenyans they should not be punished rather rewarded,” said Tongi.
In December last year during the Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) conference in Mombasa, the Commission Deputy Director of Staffing Antonia Lentoijoni said TSC wont allow teachers with grade C (plain) and below to teach in secondary schools.
She said teachers who did not attain a mean grade C+ in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam will not teach in secondary schools even if they had attained a degree later.
Lentoijoni added that, all secondary school teachers would only be allowed to teach subjects for which they scored a C+ and above in KCSE.
This is also applied with primary school teachers who would only be allowed to teach subjects they scored a C plain in their KCSE exam. She said this would improve the quality of education in Kenya.
She said the bar was raised by the Commission to improve the quality of education, following new challenges emerging in society.
“The Teachers Service Commission has raised the entry point of teaching in the country to have the right kind of people to offer quality education to our children,” said Lentoijoni.
The decision automatically locked out teachers who scored C- or C and have degrees from going to teach in secondary school, despite a suggestion by Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary-General Collins Oyuu that teachers in primary school be allowed to teach Grade 7 and 8 in junior secondary school because several of them have masters degrees.
Oyuu’s plea to TSC to allow primary school teachers with C (plain) and degrees to teach in junior secondary school was rejected.
Currently there are thousands of primary school teachers in TSC payroll who are suffering silently despite investing heavily to acquire higher academic papers.
These are primary school teachers with the following qualifications;
1) Diploma and Degree in Special Needs Education
2) Diploma and Degree in Early Childhood Development Education
3) Diploma and Degree in Education (Primary option)
4) Diploma in Education (Secondary option)
5) Degree in Education (Secondary option) but lacking C+ at KCSE or C+ in teaching subjects
The coming of Career Progression Guidelines (CPG) which ended the Schemes of Service (SoS) and the Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development (TPD) have added salt to the wounds of the teachers.
The teachers only receive acknowledgement letters after submitting their new certificates to the Commission.
Currently only promotes PTE teachers with mean grade C+ (plus) and above to teach in secondary schools.
The teachers must also have scored at least C+ (plus) in their teaching subjects. Once deployed the teachers start at job group C2 and later move to grade C3 after completing three years.
The Commission CEO Dr. Nancy Macharia said academic papers will no longer be the basis for teacher promotion. She said teacher performance is key for any meaningful promotion.
In July last year the Commission launched Teacher Professional Development (TPD) which it said will form part of teacher promotion.
Teachers are required to pay sh. 6,000 yearly for the training which takes 30 years.
Teacher will also be issued with a teaching license after every five years and only after successfully taking the TPD modules.
While in Mombasa, Lentoijoni said teachers with the qualification that TSC had approved were the right kind of people who will ensure quality education to the children.
“These are the people with the ability to offer quality education for our children,” she said.
Lentoijoni said the commission trained 28,000 teachers in the last few years to address the shortage of teachers.
She said Kenyan children deserved quality education and that was why the bar had to be raised by the commission.
Letoijoni, who thanked the government for its continued response to the shortage of teachers in the country, however, expressed happiness that at least there was some relief on the shortage of teachers.
She said TSC had now embarked on a new system of recruitment of teachers by first engaging those who want to be teachers as interns who were assigned to experienced teachers for mentorship.
“We will lobby for more money to recruit more teachers,” she said.