TSC goes digital to cure headache of paper files

The Teachers Service Commission is digitizing its records, bringing an end to paper files that have been an eyesore at the institution’s registry.

Commission chairperson Lydia Nzomo said from November this year, all teachers’ files will be uploaded online for ease of access.

Dr Nzomo said TSC scanning documents in teachers’ files to have them converted into digital form to be stored and accessed through an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS).

Big challenge

“This is anticipated to improve access to files by more than one user at the same time. This has been a big challenge for the commission as access to the manual files has been limited to only one user at a time,” she said.

This means that from November, cases of missing files at the commission offices will end. A TSC brief seen by Saturday Standard reveals that previously, 19 staff worked on management and capture of third-party data, printing and dispatch of pay slips for a week every month.

“These staff have since been deployed elsewhere to undertake other functions,” reads the brief by TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia.

Paperwork had raised the cost of operations and tremendous saving has been recorded through ICT.

“The commission was paying Sh108,000 for printing and Sh66,000 for postage of pay slips every month,” the TSC brief reads.

Up to 34 teachers visited the head office daily to make pay related inquiries.

“Currently, all employees can access their pay information at the comfort of their homes through their mobile phones,” said Macharia.

TSC officials say the electronic files for secretariat staff are already in use. The details emerged during this year’s TSC Open Day whose theme was Integrating Technology and Innovation for Quality Teaching.

Electronic pay slips, online tax deductions mechanisms and teacher registrations, which are fully done online, are listed as some of the milestones achieved so far.

Under the T-Pay services, teachers can view their latest pay information by accessing their pay slips online.

“The system also provides a function for teachers to send their latest pay slip to third parties such as banks and Saccos to facilitate acquisition of a loan,” said Dr Nzomo.

The TSC brief says visits to the secretariat by third party firms have reduced from an average of 14 firms per day to one per day within the month.

Centralised source

Nzomo said adoption of technology is a deliberate move by the Commission in a move to counter the traditional work place environment.

She said many institutions have adopted technologies such as biometric attendance registers, which send messages to parents once their children arrive in school.

At the commission, Nzomo said they have developed an effective teacher management information system (TMIS) to guarantee accurate data.

“TMIS ensures there is a centralised source of data hence eases access,” she said.

Secretariat staff can apply for leave, undertake performance appraisal and access medical scheme administration services. Teachers no longer need to leave their stations to access services as this can be done through their personal phones.

To ease communication between head office and its staff, the Commission said it has effectively used electronic mails and bulk text messages.

“TSC can now send out invitations to teachers for interviews, disciplinary hearings and cordial messages such as Christmas, Idd Ul Fitr, Easter and New Year’s,” Nzomo said.

The commission is also implementing online teacher performance appraisal tools.  

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