Primary school teachers who will be deployed to teach junior secondary school (JSS) will be promoted when the new level rolls out in January.
The teachers will be added to the 30,550 the government is hiring to teach junior high, which will be domiciled in primary schools.
The news will come as a relief for thousands of teachers in lower job groups, but who have acquired diploma and degree qualifications, the minimum requirements to teach in JSS.
“We’re currently mapping those teachers and shortly, we’ll get the numbers right,” said Mr Calvin Anyuor, the director of legal and industrial relations at the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). He was representing the CEO of the commission, Ms Nancy Macharia when the commissioners appeared before the Education and Research committee of the National Assembly to give information on the promotion of teachers.
The commission has been accused of failing to promote some teachers even though they have the necessary qualifications. Some of the teachers have been in acting capacities for a long time without promotion while others retired before they could be promoted.
Last week, Ms Macharia also appeared before the commission on the same matter and the controversial delocalisation policy.
Teachers’ unions have previously put the number of teachers due for a promotion at about 17,000.
Mr Anyuor added that some teachers who hold qualifications to teach junior secondary might be unwilling to be deployed there because they hold administrative positions such as headteachers.
The chair of the committee, Mr Paul Melly, asked the commission to map out the staff needs for junior high throughout the country, and the teachers who will be promoted from primary schools and present the data to the committee. The chair of the TSC, Dr Jamleck Muturi, said that the mapping started in September.
We’re progressively mapping out and looking at natural attrition because there are those who are already qualified but by end of this month, they’ll retire,” he said.
TSC estimates that about 15,000 teachers will exit the service through natural attrition and the vacancies will be advertised.
In June, the National Assembly recommended that the TSC should continue recognising and acknowledging higher qualifications acquired by teachers while in service.
“In accordance with Unesco/ILO recommendations of 1966 that codifies intellectual rights of teachers who undertake and conclude relevant in-service courses,” reads a report of the committee that was adopted.
“The TSC should within six months of the adoption of this report open negotiations with teachers’ unions on the CPGs (career progression guidelines) and uphold the rights of teachers who have acquired relevant qualifications at the time of their in-service. Further TSC shall give guidelines on relevant courses to be undertaken by teachers,” the report reads.
Career progression guidelines
The commission stopped the automatic promotions using the Schemes of Service in 2014 and introduced the career progression guidelines in 2016.
“The commission has not been granted additional budgetary allocations for the promotion of teachers for the past 10 years except in July 2017 when the budget was allocated for salary review based on the Job Evaluation Report conducted by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission in the teaching service. This is despite the existence of vacancies in the authorised establishment, creation of new schools and persistent budgetary requests by the commission,” Ms Macharia said.
“Consequently, the commission is only promoting teachers based on vacancies created as a result of natural attrition,” she added.