Teachers now want to be placed under the direct management of the Ministry of Education and not their current employer - the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) in its proposal to Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) argues that most of teachers' day- to- day activities, curriculum implementation, supervision, quality assurance and standards, and assessment fall directly under the State Department of Basic Education.
“Placing the Commission under the watch of the State Department of Basic Education will greatly assist in addressing duplication of functions and more importantly, reduce the cost of running the Ministry of Education,” reads the presentation by Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion to the team.
The team led by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji is expected to submit its report to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga in October.
The Knut argues that, for instance, at sub-county, county and regional levels, there will only be one office instead of two as is the case today.
“Realignment of TSC directorates, departments and sections after the merger with the State department of Basic education would further reduce the running costs of the ministry, with a lot of money left to hire more teachers.”
Currently, the teachers’ shortage in public schools stands at 96,000.
The union says the functions of TSC as outlined in the code of regulations for teachers should be spread out in the directorates and State Department of Basic Education.
Mr Sossion further adds that the current constitutional and statutory framework of TSC makes it act with impunity while serving teachers; and without due consultation with other players in the sector.
It is illogical and unrealistic for TSC to duplicate the role of the State Department of Basic Education under the guise of teacher management, Knut adds, more so since the Ministry develops and supervises the implementation of the curriculum.
Currently, it is the Ministry that is charged with the responsibility of setting up infrastructure in schools, supply teaching and learning materials.
The teachers further want an independent regulatory body to handle the disciplinary cases among teachers.
At the moment, the Ministry of Education has no direct control of teachers; it is only TSC that can take action against a teacher accused of misconduct.