TSC to lose its regulatory powers under new proposal by National Assembly Committee on Education
The national assembly has hinted at a possible review of the Teachers Service Commission’s (TSC) mandate in order to limit its regulatory powers.
The National Assembly Committee on Education is pushing for the separation of powers, with the TSC serving only as an employer and a separate entity serving as a regulator. The regulatory body has not yet been identified.
A regulator is a public organization that sets the standard for activities and imposes and enforces requirements for those entering and working in the profession.
If the proposal is approved, it will be a significant victory for former Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary general Wilson Sossion, who was strongly opposed to TSC’s dual role as employer and regulator during his tenure.
Sossion, a member of the Education Committee, emphasized the importance of having a regulatory agency to eliminate the conflicts of interest that exist at TSC.
However, critics argue that efforts to deprive the TSC of its regulatory powers, which are enshrined in Article 237 of the Constitution, pose a legal impediment.
If put in place, the teaching profession will follow in the footsteps of the medical profession, where the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union serves as the regulator and counties serve as the employers.
This is also the case in the engineering and legal professions, where the Engineering Board of Kenya and the Law Society of Kenya serve as regulators.
On Thursday, Busia Woman Representative Florence Mutua, who also serves as the chair of the committee, announced that the Education ministry and committee members will convene for a two-week retreat to discuss the issue.
As a result, the TSC will lose its authority to register new teachers.
TSC will also lose the authority to conduct professional development and renew practising teachers’ licenses.
TSC will also delegate to the regulatory agency the authority to develop the profession’s code of conduct and to take disciplinary action against those who violate it.
TSC launched a professional development course in September that will require teachers to renew their teaching licenses every five years.
TSC proposed mandatory retraining in 2015 when it proposed the introduction of professional development.
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The implementation was delayed due to opposition led by Knut’s former secretary-general, Sossion.
He called the retraining illegal, claiming that they had not been involved in its creation.
He also argued against having teachers pay for in-service training.
The new policy will require teachers to complete five years of in-service professional training before their certificates can be renewed.
Teachers will be given a number of points at the end of each module that will not be made public.
The professional development will last 30 years and will be divided into six modules, each lasting five years.