The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has for a long time deployed primary school teachers to teach in secondary schools as a way of promoting them.
After coming of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), the Commission has continued to promote the teachers by deploying them to teach in junior secondary schools.
The first cohorts of PTE teachers, who applied by 6th February 2023, were deployed to junior teach Grade 7 learners after their documents were verified by their Sub County Directors and were issued with deployment (posting) letters.
The deployment letters for the graduate teachers showed they will start at job group C2 where they will earn a gross salary of ksh 58,335 per month.
TSC in a circular dated 17th February 2023 had said it received a total of 10,833 requests from qualified primary school teachers for deployment to Junior Secondary Schools.
However only around 7,400 teachers qualified and were posted to start teaching the grade 7 learners.
TSC is yet to deploy the second cohorts of practicing PTE teachers to junior secondary schools whose application ended on 22nd March 2023.
The Commission is awaiting budget to be able to post the teachers to schools near their current station.
The biggest headache for the Commission is to get enough teachers to handle the junior secondary school section.
TSC employed 33,500 junior secondary school teachers. This translated to one teacher per class.
The deployment was aimed to supplement the shortage but still there is a huge teacher shortage.
TSC has requested Sh3.8 million in this budget meant for hiring of 20,000 new intern teachers to support JSS which was rolled out in January but faces a serious staffing challenge.
However this will leave a huge deficit and yet the number of P1 teachers qualified to be deployed to support teaching Grade 7 and 8 learners has dropped significantly.
The Commission has refused to yield to pressure to lower qualifications for deployment to junior secondary.
Currently TSC has listed the following qualifications for teachers who want to be deployed to JSS.
Primary School teachers wishing to be deployed to JSS must be qualified to teach in secondary schools. The teacher MUST meet the following requirements:
i) Have an active registration as a teacher with the Teachers Service Commission.
ii) Is employed as a primary school teacher with the Teachers Service Commission.
iii) Should not be currently serving an interdiction or undergoing a disciplinary process.
iv) Have a minimum of a Diploma in Education with a minimum of C+ at KCSE (or it’s equivalent) with C+ in two teaching subjects currently being offered in the school curriculum (either under 8-4-4 or CBC) or two (2) principles and one (1) subsidiary pass at “A” Level.
Those with a minimum of C (plain) at KCSE (or its equivalent) and have undertaken a Diploma in Education together with a Bachelor Degree in Education qualify.
v) The degree certificate must be Bachelor of Education. Bachelor of Education (Primary Option) holders are not eligible.
vi) Must have expressed interest to be deployed to Junior Secondary School and their name is in the list shared from the Headquarters.
The Commission has been under pressure to allow primary school teachers with KCSE mean grade C (plain) and degree secondary option but without diploma to be deployed to junior secondary.
Teachers with other Diplomas and Degrees have also pressured TSC to allow them handle the junior secondary school learners.
These include those with ECDE and Special Needs Education. Though TSC refused to consider these category of teachers it may be forced by circumstances.
This is because the government is still broke to employ enough teachers yet the Grade 7 learners are joining Grade 8 in January next year.
Unless TSC lowers deployment requirements to address the severe teacher shortage that is looming next year, a serious crisis awaits.