Up to 20,000 teachers are set for promotions in the coming days, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has announced.
The teachers to benefit are those in job groups L, M and N but who have stagnated in their positions for many years.
TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia said thousands of teachers who have been in administrative positions but in acting capacities will be confirmed after undergoing interviews.
Thousands others who have remained classroom teachers despite their job groups being classified under administration will be promoted.
They include senior teachers, deputy principals and principals. The total number of teachers in secondary schools and colleges currently stands at 100,000.
Appearing before the National Assembly’s Education Committee, chaired by Tinderet MP Julius Melly, Mrs Macharia confirmed that the teachers will be promoted after competitive interviews.
“We will be placing an advert in the local dailies for vacancies and teachers who are qualified will be free to apply,” said Mrs Macharia.
She said most the teachers got the administrative positions due to the signing of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) of 2017-2021.
Whereas the TSC boss declined to give the exact number of teachers to be promoted, Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion and Kenya Union of Post-Primary Teachers (Kuppet) chairman Omboko Milemba put the number of teachers in the three job groups at more than 20,000.
“We have teachers who have served in one grade for close to 15 years. We cannot allow this to continue,” said Mr Sossion.
He said the Code of Regulations for Teachers (CORT) was enacted pursuant to section 47(2) of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Act and they were gazetted in September 2015, providing for teachers’ promotions.
Mr Sossion said regulation 73 provides the general guidelines for promotion of teachers, which include merit, seniority, existence of vacancy, academic and professional qualifications and other criteria.
The looming promotions will see teachers in job group L promoted to M while those in job group M will move to job group N.
Those in Job Group L holding administrative grade C5 currently take home between Sh49,912 and Sh55,644.
Starting July this year, their salaries will increase to between Sh55,909 and Sh58,171 when the third phase of their CBA is implemented. Senior headteacher, senior master II and deputy principal IV, who all fall in job group M, will also reap big during the promotions. They currently take home between Sh66,177 and Sh80,242 but come July, their salaries will rise to between Sh77,840 and Sh82,717.
Principals of secondary schools currently in job group M and N and who earn between Sh77,840 and Sh90,612 will also have their salaries raised to between Sh93,850 and Sh102,807.
Teachers serving in job group N will be promoted to job group P, which covers senior principals taking home between Sh99,730 and Sh114,632 per month. Their current administrative grade is D3.
Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba demanded that the promotions be carried out devoid of any discrimination based on one’s region of origin. “We want to see all teachers who qualify promoted,” said Mr Milemba.
Mrs Macharia assured MPs that the teachers will be promoted in a competitive manner. She said the commission is doing everything possible to ensure that teachers are motivated to serve students.
Mr Sossion and Bonchari MP Oyioka Oroo lamented that teachers with high academic qualifications are not being considered for promotions. However, Mrs Macharia said that they would be considered for administrative positions. According to Mr Milemba, almost half of teachers in secondary schools are in job group L while a quarter are in job group M.
A teacher with a degree enters the teaching service in job group K and is due for promotion after three years, but some have stagnated in one position for close to 15 years.
Those with diplomas enter the profession at job group J and are also supposed to be promoted after every three years. Mrs Macharia disclosed that more than 36,341 P1 teachers who started off with a two-year certificate have attained higher academic qualifications.