TSC worried by teachers’ low mastery of subjects, lateness

Rita Adongo, a bell ringer at Migori Primary School summons pupils to the assembly on the first day of the term this year, on January 04. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]
Majority of the 300,000 teachers in public schools are poor managers of time and are not creative enough for the job, a damning teacher survey says.

Commissioned by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), the survey reveals that some tutors have poor mastery of the subjects they teach.

The document that has unearthed teachers’ professional gaps further shows that some cannot keep their professional documents in order.

The revelations are contained in TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia’s presentation to the 8,000 secondary school heads during their annual meeting in Mombasa two weeks ago.

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Building capacity

Dr Macharia said the professional gaps were identified by the heads in a survey that targeted selected schools and some 1,200 teachers. The survey listed serious Information and Communication Integration (ICT) gaps among teachers and ranked it top.

Some 84.2 per cent of teachers interviewed said they have poor ICT knowledge, even as the commission pushed to build capacity of its staff.

The report by Macharia also says planning and time management among teachers; financial literacy and behavioural attributes are low.

About 21 per cent of the sample said teachers have bad behavioural attributes, according to the report.

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This means that teachers observed that nearly a quarter of their colleagues have bad manners.

The data is contained in a report by Macharia, dubbed, ‘TSC Journey Towards Transformation of the Teaching Service’.

The TSC boss said the ongoing performance appraisals for teachers is the solution to most of the gaps.

She said 90.3 per cent of the sampled heads agreed that it was an important tool of identifying teachers’ professional gaps.

Another 94.73 per cent of heads agreed that performance contracting was an important tool in improving accountability in school management.

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TSC launched the performance tools programme in April 2018.

 “The two modules for instructional leaders and teacher professional development were developed on identified gaps and will be quite rich in sharpening the skills and competencies of the various categories of teachers,” said Macharia.

In her presentation, Macharia said a transformed teacher is one who embraces lifelong learning, is flexible and always willing to learn.

“That teacher embraces technology, respects and facilitates learners of different abilities to learn. This teacher embraces 21st century teaching and learning skills, making the classroom a power-house, where it all happens,” said Macharia.

She asked teachers to see the gaps as learning opportunities and ensure the welfare of learners takes precedence.

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“A transformed teacher is one who is an example to others, a team player, and is very comfortable with team teaching,” she said.

She said such a teacher will tell learners openly that he or she is not sure of an aspect of the subject matter and will provide more details during the next lesson.

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