In Summary
  • It has emerged, for example, that out of the 17 shortlisted candidates for the positions, only five were cleared to sit the interviews with the rest turned away.
  • Interestingly, some of the affected teachers had been appointed by TSC to serve as acting principals for the past two years in various stations due to a biting shortage of qualified head teachers.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is in the eye of a storm after it insisted that teachers seeking promotions to secondary school principal positions must possess a Master’s degree.

The candidates were shocked when they turned up at interview centres only to be turned away for failing to meet the new requirement despite having made the shortlist.

TURNED AWAY

It has emerged, for example, that out of the 17 shortlisted candidates for the positions of secondary school principals in Narok, Kericho and Bomet counties, only five were cleared to sit the interviews with the rest turned away.

“Only five of us were cleared to enter Kaplong Boys Secondary School in Sotik constituency, Bomet County, which was the venue of the interviews for those from the South Rift on Friday,” said a candidate who was among those locked out of the interviews.

He added: “TSC should come out and clear the air on why we were shortlisted and invited for the interviews only to be turned away at the gate for lack of Master’s degree certificates.”

The candidates who declined to be named for fear of reprisals said the Master’s requirement had been sneaked into the list of qualifications by TSC as it was not one of the demands when they filled the application forms online.

SPIRIT OF FAIRNESS

Interestingly, some of the affected teachers had been appointed by TSC to serve as acting principals for the past two years in various stations due to a biting shortage of qualified head teachers.

The others were either heads of departments or deputy principals in various institutions.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) have demanded that the interviews be cancelled and the process be started afresh in the spirit of fairness.

Ms Nancy Macharia, the TSC chief executive, admitted that pertinent issues had been raised by the teachers and trade unions on the matter, which needed to be addressed.

“Concerns have been raised by the teachers, with Kuppet having formally written to TSC on the matter,” said Ms Macharia.

She made the admission in a speech read on her behalf by Mr Ibrahim Mumin, the TSC director in-charge of administration during the Kuppet’s national Annual Delegates Conference (ADC) held at Kenyatta University Campus hall in Kitui County.

SOCIAL CONCERNS

“We are faced with a challenge on the discrepancies and the commission is looking at internal instruments to address the issue in an amicable manner,” said Ms Macharia.

Kuppet’s national chairman Omboko Milemba said TSC should shelve the requirement until a clear and agreed policy framework on the matter is developed and rolled out.

Mr Milemba said the teachers’ employer ought to withdraw the demand and conduct the interviews afresh.

“It is important to note that even when one is being picked as a commissioner, there is no requirement for him/her to have a second degree to qualify for the position,” said Mr Milemba.

According to Mr Misori, TSC introduced the career progression guidelines which did not require Master’s degrees.

At the same time, Kuppet wants TSC to conduct transfers of teachers across the country set for this month with a human face.

Mr Misori said the union supported the decision but TSC should put into consideration the age, marital status, health conditions and other social concerns of the teachers.

DISRUPTED LIVES

Page 1 of 2