New TSC Commissioner Leila Abdi.
New TSC Commissioner Leila Abdi.

After weeks of shoving and pulling, the two recently appointed Teachers Service Commissioners have been sworn in. The two commissioners, Mbage Njuguna and Leila Abdi, were sworn in by the Chief Justice David Maraga on Monday.

It is the appointment of one of the Commissioners, Leila Abdi, that has elicited a heated debate over the last few weeks. During her vetting by Parliament the Law makers were surprised to learn that the said Commissioner did not have her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination certificates.

It is also in the Public domain that she was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, but was raised in Kajiado County.

This prompted a voter in Mandera to opposs the nomination of Leila Abdi Ali as a member of the Teachers Service Commission.

While appearing before the Parliamentary vetting committee, Leila said her grandfather, Ali Kabati, was a freedom fighter and was Thika mayor for 40 years. She further said that she was raised in Loitoktok area and went to Loitoktok DEB Primary School. According to Leila she lost her parents at seven years and had challenges accessing education.

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The two commissioners come in to replace the three whose terms expired. First to exit was Commission Vice Chair Cleopas Tirop whose term expired in May this year. Mr Tirop who was appointed in April 2013 exited after serving his six year-non-renewable term. Two other commissioners – Dr Salome Gichura and Saada Abdi Kontoma – left the Commission, this month; August, 2019.

Teacher Service Commission(TSC) should comprise of nine commissioners.

A plea by teachers’ unions to be apportioned a slot in the commission fell on deaf ears.

The commissioners are in charge of appointing and appraising school heads or confirming those working in acting capacity, promoting teachers, hearing and determining disciplinary cases. They also approve budgets and formulate policies.

Current TSC chairperson Dr. Lydia Nzomo. She chairs the TSC Commission.
Current TSC chairperson Dr. Lydia Nzomo. She chairs the TSC Commission.

Under Article 237(2) of the Constitution, the Commission is mandated to perform the following functions:

  •  Register trained teachers,
  • Recruit and employ registered teachers,
  • Assign teachers employed by the Commission for service in any public school or institution,
  • Promote and transfer teachers,
  • Exercise disciplinary control over teachers,
  • Terminate the employment of teachers,
  • Review the standards of education and training of persons entering the teaching service,
  • Review the demand for and supply of teachers and
  • Advise the national government on matters relating to the teaching profession