Nancy Macharia

Teachers Service Commission CEO Nancy Macharia. The commission has advertised over 9,000 teaching jobs.

| Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

Teachers angered by TSC’s ‘unfair’ recruitment policy

What you need to know:

  • TSC has increased the marks awarded to the teacher interns from 10 to 30 percent, sparking the protests.
  • For teachers who graduated in 2012, the maximum score used to be 50 percent but this has now been reduced to 25 percent.

Protests over alleged favouritism have rocked the Teachers Service Commission’s (TSC) recruitment of 9,000 teachers.

Unemployed teachers and those working in private schools seeking employment by TSC have protested what they claimed was a skewed scoring method that disadvantages them while favouring interns serving under the commission.

TSC has increased the marks awarded to the teacher interns from 10 to 30 percent, sparking the protests.

The commission has also reduced the marks awarded for length of stay after graduating, which used to give priority to older unemployed graduates.

For teachers who graduated in 2012, the maximum score used to be 50 percent but this has now been reduced to 25 percent.

The most affected are teachers working in private schools who, despite possessing considerable experience, may lose out to newer graduates who are under the internship programme. The recruitment is expected to be intense as there are more than 350,000 registered teachers who are jobless.

“Internship is meant to make someone gain experience. Is it to say that only public schools can give that experience? Why is a teacher disadvantaged for working in a private institution serving public students?” a teacher from Nairobi County posed.

Internship programme

When TSC first introduced the internship programme in 2019, many teachers gave it a wide berth as the interns only earned a stipend of Sh10,000 (for primary school teachers) and Sh15,000 for secondary. This has, however, been raised by Sh5,000 for each category.

With the new development, many unemployed teachers are likely to turn up for the next recruitment of interns, expected in a few months. Sh1.2 billion has been allocated for the purpose in the current budget.

Apart from the internship, the score guide directs that candidates score between 30 and 40 marks for academic and professional qualifications, while teachers who graduated in 2019 and after will earn 5 marks. Those who graduated in 2015 or before will get the maximum 25 marks.

Once teachers apply for the jobs through the TSC website, the commission will generate merit lists that will be sent to the school principals for use during the interviews. The commission has released a list of schools where vacancies exist and the subject combinations required. The marks for the first three sections will already have been awarded.

“TSC has been unfair to jobless teachers. Experience and skills count for nothing. It’s ridiculous that when we’re called for interviews, we’ll only be fighting for five marks,” a teacher from Nakuru County said.

Sh17 billion

Another teacher complained that the few vacancies advertised every year have led to the high rate of unemployment among teachers.

TSC boss Nancy Macharia is on record as saying that the commission requires Sh17 billion for recruitment of more teachers to bridge the staffing gaps. However, the commission was allocated Sh2.5 billion in the current budget for the recruitment of teachers.

Last week, the commission advertised 4,000 new vacancies for secondary school teachers who will be employed on permanent and pensionable terms to support the 100 percent transition policy. An additional 2,987 teachers will be hired to replace those who have exited the service through retirement, death, resignations or other reasons.

TSC advertised 1,000 vacancies in secondary schools that will go to primary school teachers and who have upgraded their qualifications while in service. These will be promoted and posted to secondary schools.

Primary schools will only get 1,000 new teachers, according to the advertisement. On top of the new vacancies, 927 more teachers will be employed to replace those who have left through natural attrition.

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