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HomeKNUTKNUT Wants TSC Responsible For Hiring ECDE Teachers

KNUT Wants TSC Responsible For Hiring ECDE Teachers

KNUT Wants TSC Responsible For Hiring ECDE Teachers.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers‘ (Knut) efforts to have Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers hired by the national government are gaining traction.

Malel Langat and Richard Lentyaa, members of the Knut National Executive Committee, believe that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) should be responsible for hiring and assigning ECDE teachers across the country.

The governor of Bomet, Hillary Barchok, supports the demand, stating that counties are eager to transfer ECDE instructors to the TSC for permanent and pensionable employment.

Mr. Langat says counties are underpay ECDE teachers, with those holding diplomas earning a maximum of Sh12,000, which has demoralized them over the years.

The executive secretary of the Bomet branch, stated that the majority of teachers were engaged on temporary terms, while some served under contracts that were renewed every two years.

In Kenya, there are 32,437 public and private primary schools, and the number of Early Childhood Development (ECDE) centres is larger because the majority of schools have multiple ECDE centres.

“Unfortunately, the Ministry of Education has since independence not taken seriously the ECDE programme yet it lays the education foundation for Kenyan children in what has a huge impact on their performance in primary and secondary schools, middle-level colleges and universities,” Mr Langat said.

The Knut officials recommended that the Presidential Working Group on Education Reforms, led by Professor Raphael Munavu, address the issue.

They say there is usually an ECDE facility affiliated to both private and governmental institutions, demonstrating the requirement for the teachers to be employed by TSC. 

Mr. Lentayaa stated that the ongoing reforms in the education system should succeed this time around.

He observed that some of the centers were staffed by unskilled teachers, the bulk of whom were volunteers, and that the majority of county governments were unconcerned with the quality of education provided.

Mr. Langat and Mr. Lentayaa stated that the proposal would ensure that the same scheme of service is implemented, that teachers receive uniform salaries, and that they have access to medical insurance and loans from financial institutions, as opposed to the disparities that currently exist, in which counties pay them varying salaries.

Some individuals have asserted that ECDE teachers are reduced to babysitters, particularly in play groups before children enter pre-primary education (PP1).

Prof. Barchok, an expert in curriculum development, stated that counties are eager to transfer teachers to the TSC provided the recommendations are reviewed and accepted.

He says the only lasting solution to this very significant problem is for all teachers in the nation to be governed by a single commission” (TSC). 

They want the counties to handle infrastructure development, the provision of learning materials, and the employment of teacher aides.

“The truth of the matter is that counties are constrained by the demands to employ ECDE teachers under permanent and pensionable terms.

He says the terms and conditions under which teachers are employed have a negative impact on their morale.

Prof. Barchok, a former secondary school teacher who became a university lecturer before entering politics, observed that the 47 county governments did not pay ECDE teachers uniform salaries and benefits.

“Much as the ECDE function is a devolved function, there are a lot of disparities in payment of salaries to the teachers by the county governments,” he said.

“Meeting their demands is very challenging to the devolved governments, and, in fact, fulfilling the demands by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) would leave [counties] with no money for development projects.”

Mr. Richard Chebusit, chairman of the ECDE Teachers’ Association in Bomet County, stated that the transition of teachers from counties to the TSC was overdue.

Mr. Chebusit stated, “ECDE teachers are overworked and underpaid, with the majority of them providing services on a voluntary basis due to their dedication to the education and welfare of children in society.”

He says It is regrettable that successive governments have neglected teachers, whose contribution to education is immense but has not yet been recognized.

He says It is regrettable that successive governments have neglected teachers, whose contribution to education is immense but has not yet been recognized.

President William Ruto has vowed to hire an additional 116,000 teachers nation-wide in an effort to reduce the teacher-to-student ratio in public schools. However, nothing has been said about the fate of ECDE teachers.

The first group of 30,000 teachers will be hired by the TSC in January 2019 as the Kenya Kwanza government strives to achieve its pledge to increase the number of teachers in schools and enhance education standards.

The TSC has recruited 10,000 teachers annually to offset natural attrition over the previous few years, but trade unions and education groups have stated that this is a drop in the bucket.

Public school teacher shortages have been exacerbated by free primary education and the government’s policy of transitioning 100 percent of pupils from primary to secondary schools.

It is believed that Kenya has over 300,000 trained teachers that are unemployed.

A large proportion of them are older than 45 and so ineligible for permanent and pensionable employment with the government. Many work for boards of directors and private schools, while others have chosen to seek alternative vocations.

Parents are eager to learn how junior secondary school (JSS) education will be administered, anticipating that the education reforms team would provide a solution to a number of problems plaguing the sector.

Due to the young age of students, the availability of infrastructure, and the fact that students would not have to enroll in new schools, several parents and other stakeholders have advocated for the JSS to be housed in elementary schools.

KNUT Wants TSC Responsible For Hiring ECDE Teachers.

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