TSC to promote teachers with Masters, PhDs If KNTPG petition Succeeds.
Following a successful petition by a splinter union, the National Assembly may recommend that thousands of teachers who have obtained higher qualifications while in service be promoted.
Ms Martha Omollo, the spokesperson for the Kenya National Teachers Pressure Group (KNTPG), petitioned Parliament to require the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to promote teachers who have earned diplomas, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees while on the job.
As a result, on its final day, the 12th Parliament recommended that the TSC continue to recognize and acknowledge higher qualifications obtained by teachers while in service.
“The TSC should within six months of adoption of this report open negotiations with teachers’ unions on the Career Progression Guidelines (CPGs) and uphold the rights of teachers who have acquired relevant qualifications at the time of their in-service.
“Further TSC shall give guidelines on relevant courses to be undertaken by teachers,” reads the report by the Education and Research Committee adopted by MPs last Thursday.
The MPs stated that the promotions would be “in accordance with 1966 Unesco/ILO recommendations that codify intellectual rights of teachers who undertake and complete relevant in-service courses.”
The commission discontinued automatic promotions based on Schemes of Service in 2014 and implemented Career Progression Guidelines (CPGs) in 2016.
The MPs have also directed the teachers‘ union to submit budgetary requirements for the promotion of all eligible teachers in the fiscal budget estimates for 2023/2024 for consideration by the National Assembly.
Ms Omollo has scored a major victory with the report’s adoption. After being transferred from Nairobi to Trans Nzoia County last year, she accused TSC of victimization.
Other KNTPG officials were also affected by transfers, which the commission denied were punitive, claiming they were within its mandate.
Ms Omollo’s petition was presented to the House on February 18, 2022, by Nominated MP Wilson Sossion.
Mr Sossion resigned as secretary-general of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) after a fractious relationship with the TSC, which resulted in the union losing members and clout.
“These recommendations are now compulsive to TSC. This should have been petitioned a long time ago,” Mr Sossion told the Nation.
Following the petition, the committee heard from Ms. Omollo, Mr. Sossion, TSC, Knut, and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet).
The unions supported the promotion of teachers who obtained higher qualifications, while the commission defended the Code of Regulation for Teachers and the CPGs, claiming that the two instruments provide the minimum qualification required for each job grade as well as the conditions that must be met before a teacher can be promoted.
“TSC should promote teachers who graduated before 2014. They used their resources to study but they have now stagnated in the same job group. We speak for teachers because the unions no longer speak for us,” Ms Omollo told the Nation. She put the number of those at about 33,000.
Previously, primary school teachers who earned a diploma or a degree were automatically promoted to Job Groups K and L.
The commission moved away from automatic promotion of teachers based on higher qualifications such as diplomas and degrees.
Admittedly, TSC stated in its submissions to the committee that there was a large influx of teachers obtaining higher qualifications, which rendered the policy fiscally unsustainable.
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It also claimed that since 2017, it has been deploying 1,000 primary school teachers with degrees to secondary schools to address a teacher shortage in secondary schools.
The committee observed that some cadres of teachers were left out of the vertical progression used during the transition from SoS to CPGs and the conversion of job groups to salary scales.
These included P1 teachers who had earned bachelor’s degrees in education, teachers who had previously worked in Job Group L but had no administrative responsibilities, and diploma holders who had joined Job Group J and had earned degrees by the start of the 2016 collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
As a result, the MPs have recommended that such teachers be promoted.
According to the committee’s report, which was chaired by Busia Woman Representative Florence Mutua, TSC should ensure that any amendment to the Code of Regulation for Teachers is approved by Parliament and that the CPGs do not in any way affect or take away any existing benefit of serving teachers.
The National Assembly clerk will now officially communicate the House’s recommendations.