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TSC sets tough rules for hiring 10,000 teachers

By Augustine Oduor | Updated Thu, August 14th 2014 at 00:00 GMT +3
Teachers Service Commission Secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni. The commission has set strict guidelines that will inform the recruitment of 10,000 teachers. [PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD]

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has set strict guidelines for the recruitment of 10,000 teachers and warned its county directors against flouting them.

Governors and Members of Parliament will not be included in the two selection panels at sub-county and county levels. The new teachers will report to their workstations on September 15.

TSC sub-county officers will chair the first panel, with the sub-county human resource officer as the secretary. County directors will chair the county panel with county staffing officers as the secretary.

Under the selection criteria, all county slots will be distributed to all the sub-counties according to stated staff shortages. Sub-county panels will be expected to receive candidates’ applications and record particulars in the sub-county registration list.

Nancy Macharia, the director of teacher management at TSC, said candidates must be merited according to the score sheet and those with disabilities should be given preference if they qualify.

“Counties that are overstaffed will recruit, but the candidates hired will be posted in neighbouring counties with vacancies,” she said.

TSC Secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni Wednesday instructed all the TSC county directors to ensure strict timelines are adhered to without compromising the integrity of the process.

According to the hiring schedule seen by The Standard, all TSC county directors are expected to return “a clean and comprehensive list” of successful candidates by August 29.

The vetting exercise of the final names presented to the commission’s head office shall begin on September 1.

The application date for both primary and secondary vacancies closed on Monday this week after the teachers’ employer invited applications to fill some 5,000 new positions.

Another 5,339 recruits will replace teachers who left service through death or retirement.

Addressing the 47 county directors and county staffing officers at the TSC headquarters in Nairobi yesterday, Lengoiboni warned that this year’s recruitment will not be business as usual. He said any officer found to contravene set recruitment guidelines will take personal responsibility.

“We shall not condone any action undermining the set recruitment guidelines and stern action will be taken against any person arrested,” he said.

He said all certificates must be verified and necessary inquiries made to the Commission for University Education (CUE) and the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec).

Also present at the instruction meeting were primary and secondary staffing officers at the TSC.

Lengoiboni told the directors that teachers’ recruitment is closely watched by various interested parties and asked them to be cautious when handling cases.

“Do not allow the recruitment guidelines to be flouted for whatever reason.

“In the past, this has happened due to nepotism, favouritism or interference from stakeholders, leading to numerous complaints to the commission,” he said.

Lengoiboni asked all TSC county chiefs to ensure the employment exercise is transparent.

“A notice must be displayed outside your offices down to the zonal offices, sensitising applicants on the need to avoid using middlemen or making any payments for the purpose of influencing their employment,” said the TSC secretary.

The score sheet seen by The Standard indicates that trained primary school teachers aged 40 years and above will score highly compared to younger candidates.

The hiring guidelines will accord greater priority to candidates who graduated in 2002 and also rely on the quality of certificates presented by the candidates.

Trained high school teachers who graduated in 2008 or earlier will also score highly compared to those who graduated this year.

“The applicants should be assessed based on professional or academic certificates, score obtained as per the panel score sheet and age of the applicant,” read the guidelines.

On professional qualifications, candidates for primary school slots who have a distinction of 6 to 10 and 11 to 14 will score a maximum of 40 and 35 points respectively.

Teachers with a credit of 15 to 20, 21 to 26 and 27 to 32 will score between 30 to 20 points with a group difference of five points a piece.

The guidelines say that grading will be based on six best subjects from the year 2006, excluding teaching practice.

However, in cases where candidates tie in a score, the panel will use grades from teaching practice or give preference to candidates who graduated earlier.

The county officers sought TSC’s guidance on cases where they should change schools’ subjects combinations. Lengoiboni said the guidelines must be followed to the letter.

“Any candidate who is dissatisfied with the exercise should complain immediately in writing to the TSC county director and send a copy to TSC headquarters not later than seven days after selection exercise,” he said.

He said the complaints would be considered at the vetting stage.

“During the vetting process at the headquarters, the vetting committee will address all complaints raised and advise respective institutions on the action taken,” he said.

Lengoiboni said the commission is also working with Transparency International to educate the public on the “watertight regulations” with regard to recruitment.

“They are also creating awareness on probable loopholes during the recruitment exercise by exposing unscrupulous individuals out to defraud applicants,” he said.

Lengoiboni had told the House Education committee last month that the move aims at “depoliticising the teacher hiring process”.