The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will make major changes before releasing a new teacher promotion advert after the earlier one was cancelled. The advert had 14,738 promotion vacancies.
The Commission has in the last two weeks appeared before the National Assembly Education and Research Committee two times.
MPs were not pleased with failure by the commission to promote teachers who have remained in the same job group for years.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Chairman Omboko Milemba backed the cancellation and asked the TSC to increase the number of vacancies.
He added that very many deserving teachers would be left out. He termed the plan a mockery to teachers, especially those in job groups C2, C3 and C4.
“People deserving promotion are not the target of the advertisement. These are teachers in C3 and C4 job groups. It is a drop in the ocean,” Mr Milemba said.
According to the advertisement, most of the positions would have gone to primary schools, with just 3,392 secondary school slots.
Since the Wednesday advertisement, the social media has been awash with protests of teachers being given a raw deal.
Some primary school teachers who were left out like B5 and C1 said there promotion should be automatic upto job group C2.
They wondered why TSC created two senior teacher position i.e C2 and C3 which represent senior teacher II and I.
Senior teachers in job group C2 also complained that moving to C3 was a hectic move. It appeared the teachers must first complete at least three years in C2 before they can be considered for promotion to C3.
The advertised promotion vacancies arose from retirements, resignations or deaths. Many teachers have also been holding managerial positions in acting capacity.
Mr Milemba blamed the commission for not promoting teachers, thus making them lose benefits.
He said that his office is working on data to establish the extent of the problem and what teachers are owed. He put the figure at more than Sh1 billion.
“This is a pending bill that’s not qualified. It is exploitation of labour by the TSC and government. I’ve put a question in Parliament but I’m doing research with my office staff to back the numbers up. It’s become impossible to be promoted unless you’re in administration,” the Emuhaya MP said.
Nairobi Kuppet Branch Secretary-General Moses Mbora said stagnating in one grade for long has demotivated teachers.
“C3 grade is where teachers have stagnated most. Slots were advertised for D4 grade yet there are many principals in D3 who deserve promotion. Principals were interviewed for promotion to D4 grade in April but nothing happened. We’ve seen another advertisement and their positions are not mentioned,” Mr Mbora said.
He added that having many principals and chief principals and failing to promote deputies would create a succession crisis.
Mr Mbora said stagnating in a job group denies teachers benefits like enhanced medical cover.
“Such a teacher loses on better pension because it is pegged on basic pay,” Mr Mbora said.
He called for the abolition of the career progression guidelines TSC uses to promote teachers and revert to the schemes of service.
“The career progression guidelines are hurting teachers. There are too many salary points,” he said.
When commissioners officials appeared before the Education Committee, they were hard-pressed to explain why promotion has not been going on.
“The commission has not been granted additional budgetary allocations for the promotion of teachers for the past 10 years except in July 2017,” TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia said, adding that promotion is consequently based on vacancies arising from natural attrition.