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TSC issues 10 new rules for teachers, parents in reforms

By Benard Sanga and Augustine Oduor | Published Wed, December 6th 2017 at 08:00, Updated December 6th 2017 at 08:12 GMT +3
TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia answers questions from head teachers and principals from various primary schools on the second day of the Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association13th annual delegates conference at Sheikh Zayed Centre in Mombasa. (Photo: Gideon Maundu/Standard)

In summary

  • TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia told a meeting of head teachers in Mombasa the policy aims to improve administration in schools
  • Macharia revealed TSC will focus on the re-engineering process to strengthen policy framework in the appointment of institutional administrators at all school levels

Headteachers and principals will not serve in the same school for more than nine years.

This is according to new regulations released yesterday and set to be implemented by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

The guidelines add to at least 10 measures to reform the education sector, which will witness a radical shift starting January when the new curriculum takes effect.

The regulations further say school managers will not be employed in their native areas of origin.

School heads and deputy schools heads will be required to be holders of a Bachelor of Education degree while principals and deputy principals must possess a Masters degree.

TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia told a meeting of head teachers in Mombasa the policy aims to improve administration in schools.

“Through this new move, we will not be allowing head teachers and principals to serve in their home counties or be in one school for more than nine years,” said Macharia.

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It is not clear when the new guidelines would be implemented.

Same institution

The teachers’ employer said deputy head teachers and deputy principals shall not serve in the same institution for more than six years.

The transfers, Macharia said, would help address issues of conflict of interests, which have for decades arisen as a result of head teachers serving in their local areas for many years.

Currently, newly recruited teachers are no longer posted to their home counties in what the government calls a delocalisation programme aimed at enhancing cohesion in the country, she said.

On Monday, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i announced plans to consolidate leadership of primary and secondary schools that share a compound.

Only one school head will manage the two institutions, with two deputies appointed to each wing.

“The move will occasion harmony and synergy in utilisation of resources and infrastructure facilities, some of which lie defunct because resources are duplicated and institution compartmentalised, creating non-functional facilities,” said Matiang’i.

Macharia also ruled out any review of the policy not to hire teachers who were admitted to universities with a Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education grade C for diploma training.

She said the commission would not employ teachers who did not score a minimum of grade C+ in KCSE, even if they attained a diploma in teaching from universities.

She, however, admitted the policy had locked out thousands of teachers but urged them to advise their students on the right institutions and courses to take.

“It is upon the teacher to advise their students properly. It is government policy that C+ is the cut-off grade for one to join the university. We cannot change it,” she said.

Currently, most private and public universities and colleges admit students with a minimum of grade C or even C- for diploma training courses.

These may contravene set regulations and laws, thereby rendering their graduates unqualified to teach in secondary schools.

Primary school head teachers said the provision also affects thousands of P1 certificate holders currently teaching in primary institutions, given they will never teach in secondary schools even if they finish their degree courses.

Macharia revealed TSC will focus on the re-engineering process to strengthen policy framework in the appointment of institutional administrators at all school levels.

She said the commission will soon start the recruitment of senior teacher II, senior teacher I, deputy head teachers and head teachers in primary schools.

“All administrative positions in learning institutions will be filled competitively,” she said.

Other positions the TCS seeks to fill are those of deputy principals in secondary schools, and for post-secondary institutions, principals and senior masters or mistresses.

“The commission has also developed the necessary framework for the implementation of Teacher Professional Development programmes to be rolled out in 2018,” she said.

The TSC boss said the programme will be offered in various models by the commission’s accredited service providers include CEMASTEA, KEMI, KISE, British Council and teacher training institutions.

As the Government implements the free secondary education plan, parents have had their burden reduced.

A Ministry of Education plan for next year reveals parents will only be required to buy school uniforms for their children, meet lunch costs and boarding related levies that will only be reflected on fees structures.

This is because the government announced it has increased capitation per child by some Sh9,374 per year, bringing to Sh22,244, the total amount the state will now release per child per year in all secondary schools.

This means day schools fees will be fully catered for while boarding schools are set to charge between Sh40,000 and Sh53,000.

But this also comes with additional strict administrative and accountability demands for teachers.

The ministry has each student issued with a receipt that reflects the amount of money received by each learner from the government.

Total money

School heads will also be required to display the total amount of money the institution has received from the state.

Additionally, the government wants each school head to give accurate data of children enrolled in their institutions.

The ministry guidelines say from January next year, each learner will have a unique personal identifier (UPI), which will be used to submit enrollment data.

“It shall be the responsibility of the principal to ensure accurate data is submitted. Every student has been issued with a UPI number. This must be used at all times during admissions and transfers,” read the guidelines.

This initiative is expected to seal loopholes that created ghost learners in some schools where the government sent millions to cater for non-existent students.

To tighten accountability, all the school heads funded by the government have been listed complete with financial allocations.

Free secondary education will add to the workload for teachers given some 246,133 new students are set to join secondary schools in January.

This will bring to three million, the total enrollment in public secondary schools.

Government documents project this will result to 4,923 new classes, yet the teacher gap still stands at 101,430.

Other new measures being implemented include the mandatory performance contract and appraisals.

TSC said the Performance Contracting (PC) and Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development (TPAD) will continue to be rolled out.

“In less than two years, after the appraisal system was introduced, KCPE scores for individual pupils across the country are telling the success story,” Macharia said.

Teachers will also be expected to undertake professional development programmes in line with provisions of the TSC Act and Code of Regulation for Teachers.

TSC said it has developed necessary framework for implementation of Teacher Professional Development (TPD) initiatives.

“The programme will be rolled out in 2018 and will be offered in various models by TSC accredited service providers,” said Macharia.

Additionally, teachers of the same subject area will be required to hold meetings to improve performance.

“Subject teachers in an institution will be meeting on specific days in a week to discuss and find solutions to issues that affect teaching and learning in their subjects,” said Macharia.

Teachers from different schools within the same locality will also hold formal structured sessions to address performance gaps in subject areas.

Teachers will help roll out the new 2-6-3-3 curriculum.

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