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TSC now plans to register teachers afresh, clean payroll

By Augustine Oduor | March 1st 2020

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is planning to register all teachers afresh in a countrywide process that kicks off next week.

Documents seen by the Sunday Standard indicate that all teachers will undergo fresh head count from school level.

“Identification and data collection from the teachers shall be done at the zonal level with the smallest centre of data collection being the school,” reads the TSC document.

This means teachers who are currently earning salaries without proper documentation will be sent home. And those who irregularly acquired TSC registration numbers without following due process will also be identified and de-listed.

The TSC concept note says the pilot phase of the biometric registration will be done between May 11 and 15 across seven counties, before it is rolled out across the country. The plans for the process however start next week.

A total of 143 primary, secondary and teachers training colleges in Uasin Gishu, Homa Bay, Bungoma, Nyeri, Kilifi, Kitui and Garissa will be selected on pro-rata basis for the pilot phase.

The exercise will cover all public primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, Curriculum Support Officers and special programmes in all the 47 counties.

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Census kits

The TSC will on Thursday next week hold an education stakeholders’ meeting at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to present the concept note for public participation.

The road-map indicates that incorporation of the stakeholders views will be done from March 9 to 13.

By March 20, the census kits and software that will be used to conduct the pilot biometric teacher registration will be acquired.

The configuration of the tool kits for the exercise shall be done between March 30 and April 10, during which production of registration user-training manual shall be done.

The details are contained in the TSC document dubbed ‘Biometric Registration of Teachers in Basic Public Education Institutions’ that says the listing will be expanded to include teachers in other public institutions under the TSC.

The push comes against the backdrop of conflicting teachers data that continues to be released by the employer.

Latest data

The latest data released by the TSC ahead of the stakeholders biometric registration meetings says there are 316,662 teachers in both primary and secondary schools across the country.

Of these, the TSC document says there are some 217,281 teachers deployed in 22,633 primary schools. Another 99,381 teachers are currently serving in 8,865 secondary schools. This set of teachers roll conflicts with another presented in Parliament last week by the TSC that showed that there are 305,568 teachers in both primary and secondary schools.

According to the document tabled before the National Assembly Education Committee, there are some 211,046 teachers in primary schools and 94,522 in secondary schools.

According to TSC, the grand validation process is aimed at verifying teacher distribution, utilisation and teaching specialisation in all public education institutions.

It shall also help the commission to update the existing information on teachers’ bio data and validate the teacher requirement in all public schools and training colleges by size and learner enrollment.

The findings of the exercise will put to rest a long standing claim that thousands of teachers have over the years irregularly withdrew salaries from the commission’s payroll.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) have previously spoken on record faulting the teachers’ employer for not cleaning up the roll.

Conflicting numbers

In 2009, a report generated by the Efficiency Monitoring Unit found a conflicting number of teachers in documents submitted by TSC.

Analysis of the documents submitted to the unit showed that more than 20,000 teachers could not be accounted for.

At the time, TSC had 227,581 teachers in its November payroll against 207,554 submitted by provincial heads at that time.

The revelations emerged during the exercise by the unit tasked to conduct a survey of then declining compliance to declaration of wealth by public officers.

The closest TSC came to smoking out ghost teachers was in 2015 when the employer contacted an insurance broker to administer a multi-billion-shilling medical scheme.

The firm rolled out a biometric teacher listing where teachers’ input their TSC number, national identity card number and mobile phone number.

The plan was to cross-check the data against that with the TSC, Communications Authority of Kenya and National Registrar of Persons databases to enable three-way matching.

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