Promotions of Teachers Serving under the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has been a thorny issue over the years. The Commission in 2018 introduced a new policy on teacher promotions referred to as the ‘ Career Progression Guidelines (CPG)’.
Under the new arrangement by TSC, NO teacher will be promoted based on academic qualifications.
Cries of teachers who stay in the same job groups (grades) have always fallen on deaf ears. Teachers stay in the same grades for longer periods of time with being promoted.
While debating on a petition by 16 teachers in Kajiado County (who complained about being locked out of promotion by the commission) on Wednesday, 17th February, 2021, Senators hit hard on TSC for failing to promote teachers.
The Senators raised pertinent issues concerning the state of recruitment and promotion of teachers in the Country.
Here is a summary of the Senators’ reactions on the Teacher Promotions’ Debate;
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to weigh in and support the Petition by the teachers of Kajiado County.
The issues raised by the petitioners are not unique to Kajiado County; they run in most parts of the country. There are teachers who seek promotions, yet their students are not doing well.
This is because one of the parameters that is used to promote teachers is that the students that they teach must be doing well. However, the question is: Who determines the performance of students? Is it the teacher per se?
There are many factors that affect the performance of students, including environment and poverty levels, where students do not have food at home.
Therefore, to grade teachers depending on the performance of their students is unfair.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, at one time, I raised a Petition to the same effect and requested the TSC to produce the names of how the teachers have been distributed in terms of promotion across the country.
However, the response that we got, at that time – in 2017 -when the Chair of the Committee on Education was Sen. (Dr.) Langat is, the TSC agreed that they were skewed towards a particular region. However, they requested for time so that in future, they can balance promotions across the country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I request that the Committee on Education chaired by Sen. (Dr.) Milgo looks into these issues, so that we ensure that our teachers across the country are fairly promoted and rated depending on the performance as per the students’ targets.
This is because the targets for teachers in group of schools should be different from that of students in day schools, county schools et cetera. We also need to look at the number of years that a teacher has worked. Some teachers work for 20 years in the same job group.
Therefore, I look forward to how this Petition will be adjudicated and prosecuted, so that the teachers of Kajiado, Taita-Taveta and across the country get fair promotions.
This is because if they are not promoted, they will not perform well.
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Senator (Dr.) Langat:
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution concerning this important Petition from Kajiado County.
This is not unique to Kajiado. Issues of promotion and matters of recruitment have become a big problem in the country. I remember that there were a lot of complaints in Bomet County. This is because teachers who graduated as late as 2013 got promoted, yet those who graduated many years ago, for example, 12 or 13 years, have not been promoted despite the fact that their performance is good in class.
This has demoralized teachers in most places. This is because unfair promotions lead to demoralization of teachers who are performers.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the worst part is when it comes to recruitment. Policies on recruitment should be revised. This is because there are many complaints everywhere.
When I was the Chairperson for the Committee on Education, we used to receive the same complaints. We forwarded our recommendations and resolutions to TSC, but up to date, it has not acted on them.
Last week, I visited a school in Bomet where in the staff room, there is a local P1 teacher who graduated in 2009 and others who have been recruited from other counties and brought to Bomet, and graduated in 2015.
Those who graduated a long time ago and have not been recruited are so demoralized and are questioning the processes that the TSC uses when it comes to promotion and recruitment.
Therefore, I urge the Chairperson of the Committee on Education, whom I am sure will act with a lot of diligence, to make sure that these particular irregularities, which are demoralizing teachers, are brought to book and streamlined.
Senator (Dr.) Musuruve:
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this Petition from Kajiado. Issues of promotions are not only for one section; they cut across the country.
We need to find out whether the TSC has allocated money for purposes of promotion.
Also, as we push for teachers to be promoted, we should be careful not to bend standards. This is because there are many variables that come into play when it comes to promotion, for example, how many years a teacher has served, whether there is money available and many other factors.
I know that this Petition will come to the Committee on Education where I sit. We will have to look at it with an open eye, so that it will help with the issue of promotion of teachers across the country and not only in Kajiado County.
We should have a situation where we give promotions to teachers on the basis that they come from marginalized areas et cetera. Let all teachers be compensated, so that they are happy about the service that they have given this country.
Senator (Dr.) Zani:
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I also stand to support this Petition. For most teachers all over the country, the issue of promotion is key. This is because it determines many things, for example, salaries, personal achievements, et cetera.
This is a question that has been asked severally in this House. It is not the first time that it is coming up. The TSC has also tried to answer this. However, there seems to be a disconnect between what happens in the counties, teachers and the TSC.
The TSC will say that they promote from the criteria of the person and whether they qualify or not. However, people in institutions know who qualifies and who does not.
For example, they know whether a person has attained a particular degree, and so, they qualify. Therefore, there seems to be lack of transparency in this area. This is what causes this question to come over and over again.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we project that it will worsen due to the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), where the current Standard Six and Grade Four pupils will have a double intake as they go to Form One. This is from the media.
I know that we do not quote it, although it is a form of news. It has predicted that about 60,000 teachers will need to be added by 2023. This means that the issues of recruitment, criteria for promotion and fairness need to come out clearly.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I suggest that as the Committee progresses with this Petition to find out where the gaps are. Whether it is a perception or reality, the data will show for itself where promotions seem to be skewed.
Sometimes, it is not only skewed within a county, but also across various counties. Certain counties feel that their criteria for promotion and recruitment is limited compared to another county. This is a big issue that the Committee needs to raise.
I stress that let there be a transparent system. This Committee can come up with a way to make it transparent, so that people know how teachers have been promoted, recruited and the levels they are at. This is so that there is no perception. That will help.
There should be some mechanism to make this clear.
Senator (Rev.) Waqo:
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for allowing me to support this very important Petition regarding the promotion of teachers in Kajiado County. As many of my colleagues have already said, this is a matter that affects all the counties.
We are aware that teachers are very important people in our society. We are the way we are because of the teachers who molded our lives when we were young.
Most of the time, people experience unfair practices in promotions, recruitment and postings. Of course, we know that many people in the entire nation complain about these issues.
Nonetheless, at this particular time when we are talking about teachers and the teaching profession, we know that many teachers have been demoralized because their qualifications and experience have never been put into consideration.
We have many jobless graduates who are out there. To be employed or considered by the TSC has become a real problem.
It is my prayer that the Committee on Education, led by Sen. (Dr.) Milgo, will take into consideration this matter and give it the attention that it deserves. They should not only concentrate on Kajiado County, but the entire nation so that we can help
If we do that, we will ensure they are not demoralized. Going by past experience, most of them are demoralized and negatively affected. However, if we help teachers, we will help our children who will receive that positive mind and input from them.
I support the Petition and pray that the teachers get the attention they deserve.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for this opportunity. I also want to thank the petitioners for having faith in the institution of the Senate to deal with this very important matter on the promotion of teachers in Kajiado County.
However, as my colleagues have said, this is a matter that affects virtually every county in this country.
As Senator (Dr.) Zani has mentioned, this matter has come up on the Floor of this Senate many times. It is now time that the Committee on Education finds a way of getting a solution to this issue in collaboration with the TSC, so that we have a clear
progression path for teachers.
What happens in the absence of this is that it breeds disaffection among the teachers. These days we are dealing with many of cases of teachers engaging in side activities to earn a living because the career progression path is not clear.
They do not even know whether they will grow into anything.
Promotion in employment is a very serious issue because it helps employees plan their lives and future. Promotion should be based on a clear criterion, which rewards both time and performance. There are teachers who have been in the classroom for the longest time, perform well and never get promoted.
There are others who get in today, and in a few years, are at the top of the pyramid. It is important that this matter is dealt with.
As I conclude, in my County of Kitui, last year but one, this matter was raised and we brought it on the Floor of this Senate. About 100 vacancies for the positions of deputy head teachers arose in Kitui, but almost all those vacancies were occupied by teachers from outside the county.
What that means is that in future when positions for head teachers arise in that county, they will be filled by teachers from outside the county, and all those teachers from within the county, who are qualified to occupy those positions, will be disgruntled.
I hope that the Committee on Education will deal with this matter precisely and decisively to avert a crisis in the education sector.
I thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.”
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