- Knut says that TSC, after being absorbed by the State Department of Basic Education, should be left with partial mandate.
- Among proposed roles of TSC are employing registered teachers, promoting and transferring teachers and managing the payroll.
- Knut also wants an independent regulatory body to handle teachers’ disciplinary cases and other related matters.
Teachers now want to be placed under the direct management of the Ministry of Education and not their current employer – the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), in its proposal to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce chaired by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji, argues that most of teacher’s day-to-day activities, curriculum implementation, supervision, quality assurance and standards and assessment fall directly under the State Department of Basic Education.
“Placing the Commission under the watch of the State Department of Basic Education will greatly assist in addressing duplication of functions and more importantly, reduce the cost of running the Ministry of Education,” reads the presentation to the BBI team which is expected to submit its report to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga in October.
Knut argues that for instance, at sub-county, county and regional levels, there will only be one office instead of two as is the case currently.
“Realignment of TSC directorates, departments and sections after the merger with the State Department of Basic education would further reduce the running costs of the ministry, with a lot of money left to hire more teachers. Currently, teachers’ shortage in public schools stands at 96,000,” reads the document signed by Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion.
Knut says that TSC, after being absorbed by the State Department of Basic Education, should be left with partial mandate of recruiting and employing registered teachers, promoting and transferring teachers and managing the payroll of teachers under strict supervision of the National Treasury.
“The rest of functions of TSC as outlined in the code of regulations for teachers should be spread out in the directorates and the State Department of Basic Education,” proposes Knut.
Mr Sossion says the current constitutional and statutory framework clothes TSC in the garb of independence by declaring that the commission shall not be subjected to direction or control of any person or authority.
“This has indeed made the commission to act with impunity while serving teachers, isolated itself from stakeholders, taken unilateral decisions without due consultation with other players in the sector and the arbitrary actions taken by TSC on policy matters has always placed the Commission on a collision course with curriculum implementers (teachers),” reads the document by Knut.
Knut argues that it is illogical and unrealistic for TSC to duplicate the role of the State Department of Basic Education under the guise of teacher management, more so since the Ministry of Education develops and supervises the implementation of the curriculum, including conducting national assessment.
As such, Knut argues the ministry should bear the direct responsibility of managing the implementers (teachers) as it understands the curriculum much better than TSC does.
“The State Department of Basic Education should be given a leeway to conduct quality assurance, review the teaching standards of education and training of persons entering the teaching service,” adds Knut.