A section of primary school teachers has been going through a hard time for a long time despite investing heavily to acquire higher academic papers.
Since January 2014, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) ended automatic promotion for primary and secondary school teachers who upgraded their certificates.
This is because the government directed TSC to halt all promotions that are based on academic qualifications.
However, the Commission adopted a more rewarding scheme for teachers. It dropped Schemes of Service (SoS) which guaranteed automatic promotion for teachers who furthered their studies.
Instead, TSC replaced SoS with Career Progression Guidelines (CPG) for teachers. According to TSC CEO Nancy Macharia, the Commission is concerned with teacher performance than mere academic papers.
This explains why from the year 2016 the Commission has put more effort into improving and training teachers on TPAD (Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development).
The teacher’s employer has repeatedly said CPG is superior to SoS and that it has ended job stagnation for teachers.
However, the outcry from Diploma teachers and teachers who have upgraded their certificates has raised eyebrows on the effectiveness of CPG.
Despite submitting their academic certificates for promotion, the only thing the teachers have received from TSC is a thank you note together with acknowledgment letters. The teachers use their degree certificates only when TSC advertises for administrative promotional vacancies.
In the September 2021 advert for the promotion of teachers to administrative grades, TSC allowed teachers with Bachelors in Special Needs Education to apply for the advertised vacancies.
The Commission has however continued to promote teachers who studied degree secondary option by deploying them to teach in secondary schools.
In addition to having degree secondary option, the deployed teachers must also have at least C+ in KCSE and at least C+ in the teaching subjects. TSC deployed a total of 1,000 p1 graduate teachers to teach in high school this financial year (2021 – 2022).
TSC said the teachers will help in supporting the 100 percent transition from primary to secondary schools. TSC had advertised 1,000 deployment posts in 2019 and another 1,000 in September last year. The Commission advertised 1,000 deployment posts in July this year for PTE certificate holders to apply.
Those deployed started at job grade C2 at salary scale 34,955 per month and will move to job grade C3 upon completion of three years as stipulated in Career Progression Guidelines for teachers (CPG)
However, unknown to many there is a section of primary school teachers who joined universities to study degree secondary option but they only had a C (plain) mean grade in their KCSE exams.
During their time universities including Nairobi, Kenyatta, Pwani and Mount Kenya registered and offered lectures to students with a mean grade C (plain) in KCSE so long as they had a PTE certificate.
According to CEO Nancy Macharia, at least 60,000 high school teachers will, in March and April next year, be trained in preparation for the rollout of junior secondary.