The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will deploy primary school teachers to teach in junior secondary which is set to start in January next year.
This comes as the Commission officials engage teachers union official on the issue. The Commission is currently engaged in talks with officials of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) led by its secretary general Collins Oyuu.
However TSC insists that the teachers must meet the requirements for deployment to secondary schools.
Knut is pushing TSC to allow primary school teachers with degree in secondary option but C (plain) in KCSE to teach in junior secondary.
Most primary school teachers say they can effectively teach in junior secondary if given some CBC training.
TSC however says for teachers to be deployed to teach in junior secondary one must;
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.
TSC has also said it will offer training to the teachers who will be deployed to teach in junior high school.
Junior secondary involves Grade 7, 8 and 9. The current Grade 6 learners will join junior secondary in January 2023.
Knut is in discussion with TSC on the Parliamentary recommendations which ordered promotion of teachers who upgraded their certificates.
Parliament recommended that the TSC should continue recognizing and acknowledging higher qualifications acquired by teachers while in service.
The MPs want TSC to promote teachers who have acquired diplomas, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees while in service.
“The TSC should within six months of adoption of this report open negotiations with teachers’ unions on the Career Progression Guidelines (CPGs) and uphold the rights of teachers who have acquired relevant qualifications at the time of their in-service.
“Further TSC shall give guidelines on relevant courses to be undertaken by teachers,” reads the report by the Education and Research Committee.
However TSC want to use Teacher Profession Development (TPD) as the benchmark training for promoting teachers.
TSC CEO Dr Nancy Macharia while appearing in parliament said they stopped automatic promotion of teachers in 2014 because it was not tenable.
Macharia stated that the increase in the number of teachers attaining higher qualifications made the policy to promote teachers automatically unsustainable hence the Commission stopped automatic promotions on 9th January 2014.
“The high number of teachers attaining higher qualifications made the policy fiscally unsustainable,” said Dr. Macharia.
Data from the Commission revealed that there were about 218,077 teachers in public primary schools as at 2020.
21,632 teachers (9,821 male and 11,811 female) had Diploma qualifications, while 17,930 teachers (8,627 male and 9,303 female) had Bachelor Degrees.
About 491 teachers had Masters and Doctoral degrees (197 male and 294 female) while the rest had certificate qualifications.
In Post Primary institutions, there were about 113,155 teachers as at 2020. 1, 725 teachers (909 male teachers and 816 female teachers) had Masters and Doctoral Degrees (PhD).
Previously primary school teachers who acquired higher qualifications from a recognized institution were automatically promoted to Job Group J and K respectively.
Though TSC stopped automatic promotion of teachers, it deploys 1,000 PTE teachers each year to teach in secondary schools.
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.
TSC is yet to advertise deployment slots this year but sources say the Commission will do this together with other promotion vacancies yet to be advertised.
In previous deployments 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.
Those deployed from primary school to teach in secondary schools start in job group C2 and later move to job group C3 after completing three years.
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.