In September of this year, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will send at least 1,000 P1 teachers to secondary schools.
Principals of secondary schools have already declared and submitted various subject combinations that are required in their schools.
Despite Parliament’s support for TSC’s decision to hire teachers with a mean grade of C (plain) and a secondary education degree, the Commission has remained steadfast.
Members of Parliament (MPs) had asked the TSC to allow teachers with a KCSE mean grade of C (plain) or lower who had obtained diplomas, postgraduate diplomas, and degrees from various accredited learning institutions to be promoted and deployed.
Only PTE teachers who scored C+(plus) in the KCSE will be considered for promotion after July, according to the Commission’s new plan.
TSC has stopped automatically promoting teachers who have higher academic credentials, yet it still deploys 1,000 P1 instructors each year.
TSC CEO Dr Nancy Macharia revealed in parliament that automatic teacher promotion was discontinued in 2014 because it was unsustainable.
According to Macharia, the increase in the number of teachers obtaining higher degrees made the program of automatic promotions unsustainable, so the Commission terminated them on January 9, 2014.
“The program was monetarily unsustainable due to the large number of instructors obtaining higher certifications,” Dr. Macharia explained.
According to the Commission, there were around 218,077 teachers in public primary schools in 2020.
There were 21,632 Diploma-qualified teachers (9,821 men and 11,811 women), and 17,930 Bachelor-qualified teachers (8,627 men and 9,303 women).
About 491 teachers (197 men and 294 women) held master’s or doctoral degrees, with the rest holding certificate credentials.
As of 2020, there were 113,155 teachers working in Post-Primary institutions. Master’s and doctoral degrees were held by 1, 725 teachers (909 men and 816 women) (PhD).
Previously, primary school teachers who earned advanced degrees from a recognized university were immediately promoted to Job Groups J and K.
TSC has raised the threshold for instructors who want to work in secondary schools, including junior high.
TSC says teachers who did not attain a mean grade C+ in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam will not teach in secondary schools even if they have degree in secondary option.
There are a number of primary school teachers who joined universities to study degree secondary option and they graduated but they had C (plain) mean grade in KCSE.
TSC Deputy Director of Staffing Antonia Lentoijoni said although the qualification requirements were not popular with teachers, they would improve standards.
She said the bar was raised by the Commission to improve the quality of education, following new challenges emerging in society.
“The Teachers Service Commission has raised the entry point of teaching in the country to have the right kind of people to offer quality education to our children,” said Lentoijoni.
The decision now locks out teachers who scored C- or C and have degrees from going to teach in secondary school, despite a suggestion by Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary-General Collins Oyuu that teachers in primary school be allowed to teach Grade 7 and 8 in junior secondary school because several of them have masters degrees.
A total of 3,000 P1 graduate teachers were promoted to teach in secondary schools in the last three years.
TSC advertised 1,000 deployment posts in 2019 and another 1,000 in September 2020. The Commission advertised 1,000 more slots for deployment last year.
The Commission posted teachers with both Art and Science combinations to secondary schools.
Though some teachers complained on the Commission criteria on deploying teachers TSC said deployment will be done based on availability of teaching vacancy.
From July 2021 a deployed teacher in job group C2 takes home shs 34,955 at minimum in basic pay and shs 43,694 at maximum.
The teacher enjoys a commuter allowance of shs 5,000 a house allowance of shs 7,500 for those who are not in any municipality and a leave allowance of shs 6,000 paid once yearly. Those in hardship areas enjoy hardship allowance of shs 10,900.
TSC highlighted the following requirements for one to qualify for promotion and deployment to secondary school;
i) Be a Kenyan citizen;
ii) Be a holder of a P1 Certificate;
iii) Be a holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with 2 teaching subjects;
iv) Must have attained at least c+ (Plus) mean grade at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) or its equivalent and C+ (Plus) or it’s equivalent in the two teaching subjects;
v) Must be serving under Teachers Service Commission.