Promotions in the offing for teachers

Saturday December 16 2017

Teachers with their students at Rosebuds Primary School in Elburgon, Nakuru. Schools with three streams will get more senior teachers.

Teachers with their students at Rosebuds Primary School in Elburgon, Nakuru. Schools with three streams will get more senior teachers. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By WINNIE ATIENO

Schools with at least three streams will have more than one senior teacher while those with over 4,000 pupils will be assigned eight.

This is one of the new guidelines to be effected by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to better employees’ welfare and career progression.

Chief executive Nancy Macharia announced on Friday that TSC had made a significant progress in ensuring career progression for teachers.

The guidelines make provisions for minimum requirements for selection, appointment, recruitment and promotion of teachers.

“It is a defined career structure to motivate and facilitate retention of competent teachers. With clearly defined job descriptions and specifications with specific duties and responsibilities at all levels,” said Ms Macharia in a speech read on her behalf during the annual teachers conference in Mombasa.

DEPLOYMENT

She said the guidelines had a provision of teacher deployment and assignment of duties, alignment of work performance to career progression, minimum qualifications for career advancement and progression.

There is also a mechanism for monitoring and evaluating career progression,  professional development of teachers and conditions and requirement for promotion.

She noted the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed with teachers had necessitated the review of the school administrative structure to strengthen institutional management.

“The review has expanded the scope of career progression for teachers. The position of Senior Teachers in Primary School have been expanded in line with enrolment of the school,” she said.

Senior Teachers will be in-charge of Social Studies, Sciences, Mathematics, Languages, Boarding, Co-curriculum Activities, Guidance and Counselling, Quality Assurance and Standards and Academics/Mentorship/Talent.

Ms Macharia observed that performance and accountability systems in the teaching profession are intended to ensure that teachers are accountable to learners, parents, communities and key stakeholders.

ACCOUNTABILITY

“The systems provide yardstick through which accountability is demonstrated and measured, through classroom observation pupils’ performance, surveys and school evaluation,” she said.

According to her, Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development is the most effective and systematic accountability system to be put in place in the teaching service.

She said the programme had a positive impact on teacher, school and class attendance, preparedness to teach, collaborative peer-to-peer teaching, communication and innovation in teaching.

She warned Kenya National Union of Teachers officials against escalating problems facing teachers through confrontation.

She asked the union leaders at the county, sub county and school level to borrow a leaf from cordial working relationship at the national level.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

She urged county and sub county directors of education to use alternative dispute resolution measures to handle teacher issues and problems.

The teachers employer said it is possible to address emerging issues affecting teachers through constant consultation with the union leadership.

“When a teacher has a problem at the school or county level, consult with the head of institution and our field officers. It is possible to address emerging issues amicably and expeditiously. This is necessary for industrial harmony, stability and predictability in the teaching service,” she said Macharia.

She noted TSC was operationalising the teachers CBA. Ms Macharia said signing of the first CBA in June 2016 was a major triumph that laid the ground for the second CBA in October 2016.

“The greatest achievement for TSC and Knut remains the signing of the 2017-2021 CBA. TSC has already adjusted salaries and we are now working on the necessary framework to support the full operationalisation,” she said.