The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has started to receive numerous transfer requests from its teachers who are working away from their home counties.
Yesterday and today the TSC online transfer portal failed to work severally for a total five hours indicating its inability to handle the many transfer requests by teachers.
The mass transfer requests can be attributed to the recently declared President elect Dr William Ruto.
Most teachers are alive to Dr Ruto’s promise of ending the TSC delocalization policy once successfully elected president.
Ruto said he will stop teachers being forced to work outside their home counties. Currently TSC has a plan to post and transfer teachers to work in counties away from their homes.
The DP said delocalization of teachers will be done at will with allocation of hardship allowance to teachers who will take part in it.
According to TSC latest policy, teachers working in North Eastern region are required to have completed at least three years before they are transferred back to their home counties.
Teachers in other regions are required to work for at least five years before they are considered for transfer to their homes.
“The teacher must have served in a station for a period of not less than three years and five years for North Eastern and other areas respectively since first appointment unless otherwise authorized by the Commission’s Secretary,” read the new guidelines in part.
However when Ruto takes power only those willing will be delocalized. Again those who will be delocalized will be paid for it.
Ruto said he will abolish the delocalization policy by the TSC and replace it with a programme that will acknowledge that teachers are a national resource.
He said teachers will be at liberty to choose the counties and schools they want to work for. He promised to convert the current Teachers Management Institute to the Kenya School of Education to better manage the learning institutions.
“The domesticated teacher recruitment and deployment at entry-level will be per the
UNESCO teacher deployment practice which treats education as culture process conducted within a people’s culture context at the local level.” he said.
Teacher transfers is captured in clause 64 of the Code of Regulations for Teachers (CORT).
The policy on transfer of teachers is always subject to availability of a replacement as per the Curriculum Based Establishment for secondary schools and staffing norms for primary schools.
A teacher in primary school can be transferred within the county while teachers in secondary schools can be moved to any county.
TSC started to implement delocalization policy in the year 2017. The Commission started posting newly recruited teachers outside their counties.
In 2018 TSC delocalized school heads who had overstayed in same working station and county.
However the policy was slowed and later suspended after protests from teachers unions and other political quarters.
The Commission suspended delocalization policy due to outcries from teachers who are vehemently opposed to it claiming it is tearing their families apart.
However TSC carried mass transfer of teachers in May in an effort to balance its staff. Some of the things Macharia noted the Commission will consider when transfering teachers are; ‘First in, first out factor’ ‘Gender balance where applicable’ and ‘Teacher’s security where applicable‘.
Macharia outlined the following factors which will be considered during the transfer exercise.
1. The age of the teacher:
Teachers aged 56 years and above will be exempted from the transfer out of the area of their current work stations.
2. Health status:
Teachers with proven cases of terminal illness will be exempt from transfers out of the current sub county of work.
However, the Committee will evaluate each case on its own merit taking into consideration the supporting Medical documents, the availability and accessibility to the appropriate medical facilities amongst other factors in the proposed station.
3. Teachers with Disabilities;
Teachers with disability with the necessary certification will be exempted from transfers outside their current station sub County.
When transferring teachers, priority shall be given to schools within the sub county within the targeted shortage before transferring out of the sub county.
4. Family considerations:
Transfer couples who are employees of the Commission and have formally declared their marital status in the same neighborhood where possible.
5. Length of stay since first appointment:
The teacher must have served in a station for a period of not less than three (3) years and five (5) years for North Eastern and other areas respectively since first appointment; unless otherwise authorized by the Commission Secretary.
TERMS RELATED TO ONLINE TRANSFER YOU SHOULD KNOW
Pending: This is displayed once the teacher’s application is successfully delivered awaiting remarks from respective supervisors.
Acknowledged: This is displayed if the teacher is eligible for transfer and awaiting the availability of vacancy and or the teacher’s suitable replacement.
Not Approved: This is same as when the teacher’s request is regretted. This is applicable if the teacher has not met conditions set as per the transfer policy for example having not served in the current station for a period of not less than five years since first appointment, lack of suitable replacement or vacancy.
Approved: This is displayed after the transfer committee approves the teachers transfer request. The teachers transfer letter is then issued through the Principal in the case of post primary institutions and through the County Director in the case of primary school.