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Review TSC Roles and Divide The Commission Into Two, Sossion Says

Sossion claims TSC's constitutional status was a political decision rather than a professional resolution and commitment.

Review TSC Roles and Divide The Commission Into Two, Sossion Says

The former Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion has called out the Education Reforms Task Force to re-examine and evaluate the Constitution and the enabling Acts that establish a teacher regulatory body.

Sossion says it is a moment for Kenyans to rethink the education system in order to persuade the national government to provide equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.

The Education Reforms Task Force is now in action, with a clear mandate that includes a study of all laws governing the basic education sub-sector as well as recommendations for legislation review in order to address duplication, ambiguities, and improve linkages.

The former nominated Member of Parliament says emphasis must be placed on Article 53(1)(b) of the Constitution, which states that every child has the right to free and compulsory basic education.

He also wants more emphasis on Article 55(a), which states that the State shall take measures, including affirmative action programs, to ensure that youths have access to relevant education and training.

To achieve these goals and targets, Sossion says the task force must re-evaluate and redefine the Teachers Service Commission Act (2012) and the Basic Education Act (2013), as well as make appropriate changes to the laws governing education.

The resigned KNUT SG wants TSC divided into two bodies: one that serves as the teacher employer and another that serves as the teachers’ regulator.

“The task force should specifically relook at the TSC Act which allows the Commission to perform the duties of both a regulator and employer.” Says Sossion.

He wants the regulator, to be known as the Teaching Council of Kenya, tasked with specific functions such as teacher registration, developing and revising the Code of Conduct and Regulations for Teachers, disciplining errant teachers, regulating the professional conduct of teachers, and promoting, protecting, and advancing the general interests of teachers.

Its functions according to the UDA politician should also include collaborating with unions to set teacher terms and conditions of service; investigating allegations of professional misconduct and imposing appropriate sanctions, and advising the government on matters pertaining to the teaching profession.

Sossion, who was deregistered as a teacher by TSC in 2021, suggests that the professional organization should also accredit teacher education faculties in universities.

“It should also facilitate career progression and professional development for teachers and more importantly, monitor quality control and assurance of education facilities and services.” He adds.

The Council (regulatory body) according to a former KNUT boss, should be made up of part-time members appointed by the Secretary of State for Education after thorough screening.

Representatives from the Ministry of Education, public higher education institutions, private higher education institutions, public and private education institutions, and TSC should be present.

“Other members should be from Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development; CEMESTEA; teacher unions; Kenya Institute of Special Education; National Council for Nomadic Education in Kenya; Law Society of Kenya, Kenya Education Management Institute; Kenya National Examination Council; Kenya School Equipment Scheme, Kenya Primary School Heads Association, Kenya Secondary School Heads Association and National Parents Association.”

TSC’s mandate, he says should be limited to employing and managing teachers – to formulate policies to achieve its mandate; recruit and employ registered teachers; assign teachers employed by the commission; promote and transfer teachers; terminate teacher employment; review teacher demand and supply, and manage teacher payroll.

Article 237, which established the TSC, according to Sossion does not give the commission the authority to regulate teachers, nor does it give the commission the function of quality assurance and standards.

He claims the Ministry of Education is in charge of training and capacity building, which includes Teacher Professional Development.

TSC’s independence, which Sossion claims has repeatedly been abused, is based on Chapter 15 of the Constitution.

He claims TSC’s constitutional status was a political decision rather than a professional resolution and commitment.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) proposed that the TSC be made independent of the Ministry of Education whereby the commission mobilized teachers to vote YES in the 2010 Constitutional Referendum.

In their original thinking, the politician claim, the architects of the Constitution did not envision the current legal status of TSC.

Sossion says TSC’s leadership has misinterpreted its constitutional status to mean that it has no ties to the Ministry of Education or any other organization.

This has resulted in ongoing clashes with ministry officials, trade union leaders, the parliamentary committee on education, and even disobeying the courts.

He also states that TSC has generously interpreted its mandate, infringing on the constitutional and legal mandates of the Ministry of Education and labor unions.

The powers and functions of the CS for Education were encroached upon by Section II of the TSC Act and various sections of the TSC Code of Regulations for Teachers.

The politician claims that TSC has effectively taken over the management of public primary and secondary schools; what’s more, TSC has also taken over the quality assurance and standards functions in these institutions.

“This is regrettable because as the employer, it cannot exercise the quality assurance and standards in schools,” Sossion says.

He notes that TSC reviewed the Recognition Agreements signed with teacher unions on its own and has now taken over the management of trade movements, in violation of the Labour Relations Act and the Bill of Rights.

Review TSC Roles and Divide The Commission Into Two, Sossion Says


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