Teachers Service Commission (TSC) CEO Dr. Nancy Macharia delivered a response regarding promotion and deployment of teachers who have acquired higher academic certificates.
TSC Boss ‘s response follows a petition tabled in the National Assembly nominated MP and a former Knut secretary general early February ,Mr. Sossion.
His petition followed Kenya National Teachers Pressure Group (KNTPG) members Martha Omollo, Eva Muchemi and Salvin Munene who wanted TSC to recognize by promoting teachers with higher academic papers.
The members of the legislature had wanted TSC to allow teachers who scored KCSE mean grade C (plain) or below and acquired Diploma’s, Post graduate Diploma’s and Degree’s from various accredited learning institutions to be promoted and deployed without restrictions.
These law makers had argued that the Commission cannot trash qualifications which universities and colleges approved leading to the teachers to acquire the higher academic papers.
Unfortunately,Dr. Nancy Macharia’s has said it will not be possible to promote the huge number of teachers who have upgraded their certificates.
She stated that the increase in the number of teachers attaining higher qualifications made the policy to promote teachers automatically unsustainable hence the Commission stopped automatic promotions on 9th January 2014.
The data from the Commission revealed that there were about 218,077 teachers in public primary schools as at 2020.
A total of 21,632 teachers (9,821 male and 11,811 female) had Diploma qualifications, while 17,930 teachers (8,627 male and 9,303 female) had Bachelor Degrees.
Out of this number about 491 teachers had Masters and Doctoral degrees (197 male and 294 female) while the rest had certificate qualifications.
Under the Post Primary institutions, there were about 113,155 teachers as at 2020. 1, 725 teachers (909 male teachers and 816 female teachers) had Masters and Doctoral Degrees (PhD).
In the past primary school teachers who acquired higher qualifications from a recognized institution were automatically promoted to Job Group J and K respectively.
Dr. Macharia said the number of teachers have since outnumbered the allocated funds for promotions.
This automatic promotion was possible due to the fact that there were adequate funded vacancies in the establishment,”
She said that in 2016, the entire public service, on the advice of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and in keeping with international best practices, transited from qualifications-based remuneration framework to the Job worth concept.
As a result of this, TSC and SRC conducted a Job Evaluation (JE) exercise in 2016 for the teaching sector with a view of obtaining the relevant worth of every job in the teaching service.
This resulted in a more viable and appropriate career growth for teachers that are predictable, equitable and sustainable.
Dr. Macharia further stated that the JE Report informed the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations between the Commission and the teachers unions, Knut and Kuppet, which saw TSC and the unions collectively and voluntarily negotiating a CBA that embraced the Job worth concept of remuneration.
She maintained that the transition from qualification-based remuneration framework was not unilateral since the same was discussed with the teachers unions at several meetings before the cut-off date was settled on.
She further added that the Commission still recognizes higher qualification as a basis for promotion alongside other criteria as set out in the CPG and that the allegations that the Commission arbitrarily stopped recognizing higher qualifications is factually incorrect and lacks foundational basis.
Macharia further stated that the CBA read together with the CPG provided a structural career progression path for each cadre in the teaching service.
As per to the TSC boss, the CPG maps out teachers promotion based on established criteria, declared vacancies and budgetary provisions while at the same time takes into consideration the higher qualifications attained by a teacher during his/her professional life.
In her statement she said “Promotion of teachers from one grade to another is guided by the provisions of the CORT and the CPG. These two instruments provide the minimum qualification required for each grade and the conditions to be met before a teacher is promoted to the next grade,”
Macharia noted that Clause 44 of the ILO recommendations requires that promotion of teachers should be based on an objective assessment of a teacher’s qualifications for the new post, by reference to strictly professional criteria laid down in consultation with teachers’ organizations.
She stressed that CPG is a comprehensive guide encompassing all the necessary factors to be considered in teacher promotion.
For instance, the CPG outlines academic and professional standards for teacher career advancement, a linkage of teacher’s career progression to the output and professional standards, and performance and experience.
“The Career Progression Guidelines therefore integrates contemporary best practices in teacher management. Pursuant to these guidelines, higher qualifications are considered as added advantage during the promotion process and a minimum requirement for headship in Primary schools,” added Macharia.
Back in 2017, TSC made a policy decision to annually deploy 1,000 Primary School teachers who have acquired higher qualifications and also meet the required standards to secondary schools, which is done competitively to ensure that the principle of fair competition is achieved.
In almost every year the Commission advertises 1,000 vacancies for practicing P1 teachers with degree in secondary option to teach in secondary schools.
The Teachers are deployed to teachin secondary option but they must have scored mean grade C+ (plus) in KCSE and C+ (plus) in the two teaching subjects.
This teacher once deployed the teachers start at job group C2 and later automatically move to job group C3 after completing three years.
The teachers employment ruled out promotion of teachers with mean grade C (plain) to secondary schools.
The commission argued that it raised the entry grade in the teaching service so that it can have the right people to teach the children.
According to TSC it will require 36,000 new teachers to handle junior secondary classes starting next year.