A union has asked the government to increase the number of teachers it plans to promote next year.
In an advertisement dated December 22, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) made public its intention to promote 13,713 teachers to leadership positions in primary and secondary schools.
However, the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) feels more teachers than that should be promoted to help bridge the gap of teacher shortage.
"There is a need to amend the advert and increase the number of teachers who should be promoted," the union's secretary-general Akello Misori told The Standard.
In the meantime, Mr Misori asked teachers to be patient as they await the outcome of the talks Kuppet officials will soon have with the TSC over the matter.
"I hope the Teachers Service Commission's decision will be informed by the real need to amend and adjust the promotional advert of teachers, especially in job groups C3 and C4," Misori said.
Mr Orwa Jasolo, Kuppet's Migori County executive secretary, echoed Misori's sentiments saying job groups C3 and C5, which form the bulk of post-primary school classroom teachers (80 per cent), were never allocated a share in the promotion advertised by TSC.
Orwa noted from a total of over 110,000 post-primary teachers, only 3,000 teachers were set to be promoted, representing 0.2 per cent only. "The number of Kuppet members set for promotion in the plan is like a drop in the ocean," he said.
"Most of the advertised promotions will benefit teachers in the higher grades. That means just a few teachers are set to benefit from the promotions as the majority, classroom teachers in lower grades, remain stagnated in the same job groups without a pay rise and advancement of their careers,” said Orwa.
He said many classroom teachers stagnated in job grades C3 and C5 for between five and 22 years yet there has been no position being advertised for the same job group.
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"The TSC must find a way of including classroom teachers in the promotion because they are the ones implementing the curriculum at the school level," said Orwa.
He also called on the TSC to design a clear path on how diploma teachers can be promoted both at the primary and secondary school levels.
Area Kuppet treasurer Florence Odour said: "What the TSC is claiming to be a promotion is actually a change of grades and job group names."
Ms Oduor added: “TSC changed teacher’s job groups from M, N and P, as we used to refer them, to C2, C3, C4, which is actually not a promotion but basically changing the names of the job groups.”
She urged the TSC to listen to the pleas of teachers and address their concerns, in terms of promotions and pay rise.
In the TSC's advertisement announcing the promotions, the commission indicated it was also targeting teachers in regular schools.
Before pulling down the advert a few days ago, TSC targeted teachers in Special Needs Education (SNE) institutions.
TSC had also sought to recruit 1,021 school heads to various institutions in Arid and Semi-Arid counties, including Kajiado, Isiolo, Garissa, Samburu, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Turkana, Wajir and West Pokot, before the advert on this particular issue was pulled down.
In the advert that was pulled down a few days ago, TSC had also announced it would promote teachers in Special Needs Education (SNE) institutions.
The commission also advertised four vacant positions for chief principal in various teachers' training colleges.