The National Assembly’s intervention after a successful petition by the lobby Kenya National Teachers Pressure Group to have Teachers Service Commission (TSC) promote teachers who have acquired diplomas, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees while in service is a big win for education.
On the very last day of the 12th Parliament, MPs recommended that the TSC continue recognising and acknowledging higher qualifications acquired by teachers while in service.
A report by the Committee on Education and Research that was adopted by MPs requires TSC to negotiate with the unions on career progression guidelines (CPGs) and uphold the rights of teachers who have acquired relevant qualifications while in service. TSC should also give guidelines on the relevant courses to be undertaken by teachers.
The MPs noted that the promotions would be in line with Unesco and ILO recommendations of 1966 that even codify the intellectual rights of teachers who undertake and conclude relevant in-service courses. TSC stopped automatic promotions using the schemes of service in 2014 and introduced CPGs in 2016.
Primary school teachers who got a diploma or degree in education used to be automatically promoted to Job Groups K and L, respectively. But TSC said the high number of teachers attaining higher qualifications made the policy fiscally unsustainable.
The employer also said that, every year since 2017, it deployed to secondary schools 1,000 primary school teachers who had acquired degrees to deal with teacher shortages. But the MPs said during the transition from SOS to CPGs there is conversion of job groups to salary scales. Some cadres of teachers were left out in the vertical progression adopted.
Considering that teachers are responsible for educating Kenyan children, they should be given the promotion they desire.
Mr Njuguna is a teacher. [email protected]