TSC and Knut in new battle, employer says no cash for teachers’ promotions

Teachers have on many occassions downed tools wanting salary increment. Knut is demanding the promotion of over 50,000 members.


NAIROBI, KENYA: Teachers in the country are embroiled in a new tussle with their employer, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) over promotions for 50,000 members.

While TSC is disputing the huge number, it says it requires Sh6.6 billion to promote all teachers once a vetting exercise is complete. The teachers had gone back to the lecture halls at various institutions of higher learn back to the lecture halls at various institutions of higher learning to further their education with the hope of being promoted, a move that seems to have hit a brick wall.

Over 23,000 head teachers and their deputies who undertook administrative courses offered by the Kenya Education Management Institute (Kemi) will not be promoted.

These were among the over 50,000 teachers who applied to TSC to be considered for promotions last year.

In what is already causing tension in the teaching fraternity, TSC said it was only going to promote 30,000 teachers with Teacher Proficiency Courses (TPC), diploma, undergraduate and masters degrees and doctorates.

Commission Secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni says some 6,923 teachers have so far been vetted but noted that they may not be promoted for lack of funds. He said another 753 cases are waiting vetting, and explained that once screening is complete, the commission will require some Sh3 billion to elevate all the teachers in the current financial year.


Lengoiboni said TSC requires another Sh3.6 billion to promote all the teachers in the next financial year. He said TSC was allocated just Sh600 million for promotion of teachers in the current financial year.

“What we are saying is that we are currently vetting all the cases, but once we are through, we may not be able to reward these teachers yet they are deserving,” he said.

But at a meeting between the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the TSC held on April 2, the commission insisted that the course is not an entry requirement for any grade within the scheme of service for teachers.

According to Lengoiboni, the qualifications should help TSC identify potential candidates for managerial positions in schools. It is intended to build the teachers’ administrative and management capacity and is not for promotions.

But Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion said TSC has no option but to promote these teachers, adding that the commission had committed itself to do so in writing.

“There are no two ways about it. TSC has to promote them. We have the TSC letter, which committed itself to give credits to all Kemi graduates, and they cannot now turn around yet teachers have spent money undertaking the courses,” said Sossion.

He added: “TSC, in a letter to the Director Kemi, (ref No. TSC/D(S)/2012), dated February 29, committed incremental credits to all successful teachers upon completion of their courses.”

In a press release dated March 16, 2012, Kemi informed teachers that TSC had officially declared that incremental credits would be given to all teachers who successfully complete the Diploma course.

Kemi’s Diploma in Education Management programme was launched in 2011 by the then Minister for Education, Prof Sam Ongeri. It is a one-year programme that targets all 19,833 primary school head teachers and 6,009 principals in secondary schools. So far, 25,700 teachers have completed the course and are waiting to be considered for promotion.

Sossion said several teachers invested their resources and time in the Kemi course with the hope that it will earn them promotions and salary increments and the commission should be allocated an additional Sh4 billion for the exercise and to hire new teachers.

Knut said early this year that some 53,000 teachers deserved promotion. A meeting between TSC and Knut resolved that a joint exercise to harmonise the figures be carried out.

Sossion said that some 20,000 teachers under the common cadre were promoted in January but another 35,000 are yet to be promoted.

Of these, he said, 35,000 graduated from Kemi with executive diplomas and the remaining 12,000 graduated from various colleges.

But Lengoiboni Wednesday dismissed any plans to promote the 23,000 teachers who graduated at Kemi.


“There are many courses being offered today and not all courses result into promotions,” he said, adding: “You can gather all the papers but you are not productive in class. Why should we promote such a teacher?”

He said the commission would ensure that productivity of teachers remains the key parameter for their promotions. In an earlier interview, Lengoiboni said Kami’s programme is more about leadership and lacks some of the needed content.

Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) National Chairman Joseph Karuga said TSC should elevate teachers who have already graduated to another scheme of service.

“These teachers should now be moved from the non-graduate scheme to the new scheme because they have completed their executive diplomas,” he said.

Lengoiboni, however, said all promotions would be strictly done under the existing three schemes of service.

The Government froze the higher qualifications category two years ago, citing lack of funds.

Teachers affected by the freeze were those under the common cadre who get promoted after every three years provided there are no “adverse reports” about their performance.

In the other category are teachers who get competitive promotions after undergoing thorough interviews. Lengoiboni said all TSC employed teachers must, for now, fall between the graduates, non-graduates or technical schemes of service, and noted that the preparation of a new scheme of service must involve many stakeholders.

They include the Ministry of Education, The National Treasury, Office of the President, Knut and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet).

“This is something that must be negotiated and it requires many partners. The consultative committee on terms of service is the forum where such matters are discussed,” he said, noting that all schemes of service would be revised alongside the TSC policies.


Sossion said talks were underway between Kemi, TSC and Knut to ensure the teachers were promoted.

Those who graduated after 2013 are not eligible after the union ceded ground in their negotiations with TSC.

The over 7,000 teachers who had applied for promotion will now have to wait a little bit longer before their cases are reviewed.

Knut Deputy Secretary General Charles Katege said priority has been given to backlog cases that have been due for consideration since 2012.

“Unfortunately, in our agreement with TSC, they will work on promotions from 2011 going backwards. We will however, continue engaging TSC on pending promotions and the issue of Kemi’s management course,” said Mr Katege.

He said Knut would send letters when the schools reopen in May to those lucky enough to be promoted.