Following a successful petition by a splinter union, the National Assembly may suggest that thousands of teachers who have earned higher certifications while on the job be promoted.
Ms Martha Omollo, a spokesperson for the Kenya National Teachers Pressure Group (KNTPG), has petitioned Parliament to force 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 suggested that the TSC continue to recognize and acknowledge higher certifications earned by teachers while on the job.
“Within six months of adopting this report, the TSC should begin negotiations with teachers’ unions on the Career Progression Guidelines (CPGs) and safeguard the rights of in-service teachers who have gained necessary qualifications.”
The promotions would be “in conformity with Unesco/ILO principles from 1966 that formalize the intellectual rights of teachers who undergo and complete relevant in-service courses,” according to the MPs.
In 2014, the commission ended automatic promotions based on Schemes of Service and replaced them with Career Progression Guidelines (CPGs) in 2016. The MPs have also directed the teachers’ employer to submit budgetary needs for all eligible teachers’ advancement in the 2023/2024 financial budget projections to the National Assembly for consideration
Omollo has scored a major victory with the acceptance of the report. After being transferred from Nairobi to Trans Nzoia County last year, she accused TSC of victimization.
Other KNTPG officials were also affected by transfers that the commission denied were punitive, claiming they were carried out in accordance with its mandate.
On behalf of Ms Omollo, Nominated MP Wilson Sossion presented the petition to the House on February 18, 2022. Mr Sossion resigned as secretary-general of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) after a tumultuous relationship with the TSC, which resulted in the union losing members and clout.
“TSC is now obligated to follow these recommendations. Mr Sossion told the Nation, “This should have been petitioned a long time ago.”
Following the petition, the committee heard from Ms. Omollo, Mr. Sossion, TSC, Knut, and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, among others (Kuppet). The unions backed teachers who earned higher degrees, while the commission defended the Code of Regulation for Teachers and the CPGs, claiming that the two documents spell out the basic credentials for each job grade as well as the prerequisites that must be met before a teacher may be promoted.
“Teachers who graduated prior to 2014 should be promoted by TSC.” They studied with their resources, yet they are now stuck in the same employment category. Ms Omollo told the Nation, “We advocate for teachers since the unions no longer speak for us.” She estimated that there were around 33,000 of them.
Previously, primary school teachers with an education diploma or a bachelor’s degree were automatically promoted to Job Groups K and L.
“The commission moved away from promoting teachers automatically based on their acquisition of higher qualifications such as diplomas and degrees.
“Admittedly, there was a large influx of instructors obtaining higher qualifications, which rendered the approach monetarily untenable,” the TSC stated in its testimony to the committee.
It further asserted that since 2017, it has been annually deploying to secondary schools 1,000 primary schools teachers who have gained degrees to deal with teacher shortage in secondary schools. The committee observed that during the transfer from SoS to CPGs and conversion of job groups to compensation scales, some cadres of teachers were left out in the vertical progression implemented.
These include P1 teachers who had gained bachelor of education degrees, teachers formerly in Job Group L who had no administrative responsibilities and diploma holders who had enrolled at Job Group J and had obtained degrees at the commencement of the 2016 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) (CBA).
The TSC should ensure that any alteration to the Code of Regulation for Teachers is approved by Parliament and that the CPGs should not whatsoever undermine or take away any existing advantage of serving teachers,” the report by the committee chaired by Busia Woman lawmaker Florence Mutua says.
The clerk of the National Assembly will now officially communicate the recommendations of the House.
Following the petition, the committee heard from Ms. Omollo, Mr. Sossion, TSC, Knut, and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, among others (Kuppet) (Kuppet). The unions backed teachers who received higher degrees, while the commission defended the Code of Regulation for Teachers and the CPGs, arguing that the two texts state out the basic credentials for each job grade as well as the conditions that must be completed before a teacher may be promoted.
“Teachers who graduated prior to 2014 should be promoted by TSC.” They studied with their resources, nevertheless they are now locked in the same employment category. Ms Omollo told the Nation, “We advocate for teachers since the unions no longer speak for us.” She guessed that there were roughly 33,000