The teachers’ employer could lose critical Quality Assurance and Standards (QAS) functions to the mother ministry if the new proposals by the education reform team are adopted.
The staff presently performing these functions at the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) would be transferred to the Ministry of Education in the new proposals.
In the draft report, the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) suggests the need to harmonise the quality assurance functions in the basic education sector by ensuring that the ministry has exclusive legal authority over the mandate.
“Quality Assurance and Standards functions should be transferred from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to the Ministry of Education,” reads the report.
This means that TSC powers might be clipped and a commensurate budget retained at the ministry in radical proposals made by the taskforce.
“The quality assurance and standards function at TSC should be transferred to the Ministry of Education. This harmonisation of QAS functions should be anchored in law,” reads the draft report.
Report further says that the directorate for quality assurance and standards be given powers in law to enable it to enforce laws, regulations, policies and deadlines of ministry.
“The powers shall include but not limited to the power to order the immediate closure of institutions that contravenes set regulations and to establish the system of rewards and sanctions,” reads the report.
The proposal is seen as a major plug to the gaps witnessed in previous years where ministry officials oversaw death of learners and damage of institutions property as there was no clarity on jurisdiction.
Report finds that lack of adequate human resources, worsened by decentralised quality assurance staff to other directorates.
It says this has continued to hamper the level of quality assurance and standards systems in schools.
Early Childhood Development and Education, it says, lacks quality assurance mechanisms.
Also, report says that there is poor implementation of policies and regulations governing quality assurance and standards in learning institutions with education standards and quality assurance commission not in existence.
It also emerges that inadequate number of Quality Assurance and Standards officers, conflict and duplication of duties of the officers is evident in the institutions.
This has affected the capacity of staff to develop and maintain inclusive education standards needs in learning institutions and also hampered service delivery in terms of education contents, learning environment and school management.