Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has been criticised by Senators over what they term as ‘unfair promotion of teachers which has demoralised many tutors.
Nominated MP Isaac Mwaura while flagging off the Ruiru Sub-County Special Sports tournament at Ruiru recently The legislators termed the TSC policy which particularly pegs promotion of teachers to the performance of their learners as unfair urging that those teachers to be promoted to the position of Head teacher, County director and Sub-county Director must be drawn only from those who serve in Job Groups L, M and N.
“However, the question is: Who determines the performance of student ls it the teacher per se? “Therefore, to grade teachers depending on the performance of their students is unfair,” posed nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura.
His Bomet counterpart Christopher Langat noted that issues of promotion and recruitment had become a big problem, adding that there are teachers who graduated as late as 2013 and got Promoted yet those who graduated many years ago, for example 12 or 13 years ago, have not been promoted despite the fact that their performance is good.
Nominated Senator Agnes Zani said that issue of promotion is key as it determines many things including but not limited to salaries and personal achievements,adding that the discrepancies in promotion are even projected due to the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), where the current Standard Six and Grade Four pupils will have a double intake as they go to Form One.
“It is predicted that about 60,000 teachers will need to be added by 2023. This means that the issues of recruitment, criteria for promotion and fairness need to come out clearly,” said Zani.
Mwaura alleged that the recent promotion process of teachers done by the teacher employer is skewed and asked TSC to fairly promote and rate teachers depending on the performance as per the students’ targets, insisting that the targets for teachers in boarding schools should be different from those of students in day schools, county schools, among others.
Kitui Senator Enock Wambua asked to come up with a clear progress idea for teachers, saying its absence breeze disaffection among teachers. “These days we are dealing with many of cases of teachers engaging in side activities to earn a living because the career progression path is not clear. They do not even know whether they will grow into anything,” said Wambua.
The senators who were speaking from the floor of the Senate asked TSC to conduct a transparent and accountable system in the vertical movement of their staff terming the current system as discriminatory.
These comments arose when Senator Mwaura demanded for the list of recently promoted teachers and the criteria used by the TSC to upgrade them. In January this year, the Kenya Nation. Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion filed a petition in court to stop TSC from implementing promotions based on Career Progression Guidelines (CPG).
In a petition filed on January 21, 2021, Sossion said the Labour and Employment Court had on July 2019 issued orders and made a judgment that promotion of teachers should not be based on CPG which the commission has ignored, and further wanted the commission’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Nancy Macharia to be jailed for six months for contempt of court orders.
“This honourable court be pleased to cite and punish by the issuance of orders and committal to jail for six (6) months against 2nd and 3rd contemnors for disobeying the orders of this honourable court of 12th July 2019,” Sossion told the court in his petition. KNUT’s opposition to the CPG has seen thousands of teachers quit the union to benefit from the Sh54 billion in the current Collective Bargaining
Agreements (CBA), after TSC argued that the court ruling on CPG meant that KNUT members, who were opposed to the criteria, were not legible to benefit from the CBA. Last year, the Commission promoted some 47,131 teachers in job group B5 to job group Ci using CPG.
Those were the ones who either belonged to Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) or were non- unionised. The promoted grade B5 teachers, who have been earning a basic salary of between Sh. 21,756 and Sh. 27,195, saw their increase in salary of between Sh. 27,195 and Sh. 33,994 in the month of July, 2020 The then TSC Communication Director Beatrice Wababu stated that another 32,051 teachers in Job Group B5 diq qualify for promotion.
In December 21, 2020 the commission announced up to 15,226 positions up for grab whose deadline for application was January 13, 2021, while interviews were conducted between February 8 and 19, 2021 at designated TSC County offices countrywide. The positions included 6,680 senior master IV positions, 2,111 primary school head teachers and 1,765 deputy head teacher l positions. A further 1,590 deputy principal lI, i,uu deputy principal ll, 1,341 for deputy principal1, and 291 curriculum support officer l were up for grabs. Other positions include 350 senior master IV and 45 senior lecturers IV.