Over 36,000 teachers are set for promotions starting next week in a race to boost education in Junior Secondary Schools (JSS), their employer has told Parliament.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is also set to employ an additional 450 new secondary school teachers, according to a schedule released yesterday.
Nancy Macharia, the TSC Chief Executive, told lawmakers that out of the 36,829 teachers targeted for promotion, 10,833 from primary schools will be promoted to work in JSS.
Promotions will be effected from Monday since the identified candidates have met the requisite qualifications for deployment.
While appearing before the National Assembly’s Education Committee, Macharia told MPs that TSC was currently mapping the teachers after they applied for promotion through its online platform.
“The mapping process of primary school teachers eligible to teach in junior secondary schools is a continuous process and verification of the mapped files is still ongoing to identify more teachers eligible to be posted to JSS,” she told legislators.
According to the commission, qualification for deployment to JSS include a Diploma in Education, Bachelor’s degree in Education, at least a C +plus mean grade in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KSCE) examination or its equivalent and at least C Plus in the two teaching subjects at KCSE or its equivalent.
At university, one must have studied at least eight units in each of the two teaching subjects.
The deployment of the teachers will be over and above the 30,550 primary teachers who were distributed to JSS for Grade 7 earlier this year. During that phase, the commission allocated one teacher per class for all the Grade Seven classes in public schools countrywide.
Said Macharia: “While the teacher establishment for Grade Seven level is 61,000 (at least two teachers per class), the commission had recruited 30,550 teachers (one teacher per class), bringing the teacher shortage at Grade Seven to 30,550.”
The move comes at a time when there is congestion in JSS due to high number of new learners owing to infrastructural strain in some schools and high fees charged by private institutions.
On the hiring of the 450 secondary school teachers, Macharia announced that this will commence immediately after the close of the ongoing recruitment drive.
The vacancies arose after TSC recruited 35,550 teachers out of the 36,000 slots that they had been allocated.
Of these, 9,000 posts were on permanent and pensionable terms of service for JSS, 1,000 posts were on permanent and pensionable terms of service for primary school teachers, 21,550 posts for teacher interns in JSS and 4,000 posts for teacher interns in primary schools.
“As of June 2022, the commission was faced with teacher shortage of 116,000 (48,327 at primary level and 67,673 in post-primary instructions countrywide,” said Macharia.
The promotion of the remaining 25,996 teachers for the financial year 2022/2023, will be subject to budgetary allocation.
Out of the 25,996 teachers, 11,258 will be promoted in the Common Cadre promotions, which benefit teachers in Job Group J (C1), K (C2) and L (C3). A promotion from Job Group J to K and K to L is done after three years of satisfactory performance.
A total of 13,717 teachers will be promoted through competitive promotion where a teacher will be required to make an application online, complete the Teacher Proficiency Course or promotion interview administered by the commission for that purpose.
Another 1,021 teachers will be promoted through affirmative action in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) and hard to staff areas. The commission allocates an additional five per cent of teaching posts declared in the country to such areas.
Local teachers are recruited and retained in these areas to ensure optimal staffing levels and stability.
Macharia said that to competitively promote 12,634 teachers in the current financial year, the commission requires at least Sh2.17 billion.
The shortage of teachers in ASALs and hard to staff areas is as a result of the diverse subjects taught in the schools, huge enrolment and high number of learning institutions in those counties.
Macharia told the lawmakers that promotions are done through a set criteria, which include availability of funds, existence of vacancies, merit and ability as reflected in a candidate’s work performances, seniority and experience, annual performance records and academic achievements.
“Promotion of teachers in public service is premised on Regulation 73 of the code of regulations for teachers, the career progression guidelines and the policy on selection and appointment of institutional administrators,” she said.
Meanwhile, Macharia told the lawmakers that the commission had stopped the delocalisation of teacher and to this effect transferred all the 14,733 teachers who had requested for transfers as at November 30 last year.
“To address the issue raised during implementation of the delocalisation policy, the commission stopped implementation of the said policy, has and continuous to transfer teachers who apply for transfer to their home counties.
It has also commenced review of the code of regulation for teachers (2015) to address emerging issues in the teaching sector,” said Macharia.
Her meeting with MPs came against the background of complaints raised by teachers about high numbers of learners seeking to be enrolled in Grade Seven and a shortage of textbooks and other instruction materials.
The high numbers have strained teachers, making it necessary for TSC to go back to the drawing board, hence the decision to promote some of its staff.