Parliament has passed the Teachers Service Commission Bill 2012 that would require teachers to register afresh with the TSC.
The new law would give the commission powers to ensure that those in the teaching profession comply with the teaching standards prescribed under the Act.
Trade Minister Moses Wetangula, who supported the Bill, said the Ministry of Education should now work with the Treasury on recruitment of more teachers to curb shortage in public schools.
“The shortage of teachers in the country is felt more in rural areas than in urban centres and town. This shortage must now be addressed with the new law in place,” he said.
The minister said enough resources must be allocated to TSC to recruit more teachers as a large number have left the country in search of jobs abroad. “We already have more than 15,000 trained teachers in South Sudan from Kenya while the TSC requires around 60,000 teachers to fill the gap,” said the Sirisia MP.
Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan took issue with Article 6 of the Bill that requires TSC members to be holders of a degree in Education, saying the clause should be changed to allow other professions to work in the commission.
“The task of the commission is enormous and thus the need to include other degree holders. This will ensure many qualified Kenyans are considered to serve in the commission,” he said.
Gichugu MP Martha Karua said for the first time TSC would have an Act of Parliament to guide its operations. She, however, challenged Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo to start working towards ensuring TSC becomes completely independent.
Ms Karua hailed the Bill for setting clear criteria for recruitment of members of the commission, saying it would stop the canvassing for certain people to be appointed.
On disciplining errant teachers, she called for clear criteria on their reinstatement to avoid a situation where the same people are reinstated in an opaque manner.
Cabinet Minister Chris Obure said the Bill has minimised interference by the Ministry of Education in hiring, promotion and staffing of teachers.