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Teachers embrace TSC online appraisal system

Professor Fred Keraro of Egerton University when he conducted online training for teachers. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Teachers have embraced the performance appraisal system introduced five years ago almost unanimously, according to a confidential Teachers Service Commission (TSC) document.

More than 93 per cent completed the appraisal forms by the end of Term 3 in April, compared to 87 per cent by the end of Term 2 and 86 per cent by the end of the first term.

By the end of the third term, 341,760 teachers completed the forms, an increase of 4,917 of the teachers who carried out the task in the previous term, the status report by TSC Director of Quality and Standards Dr Mugwuku Nthamburi.

The Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development tool was introduced in 2017 in fits and starts owing to opposition from teachers unions and resistance from the tutors mainly because of the novelty of the idea of assessing their productivity.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers rejected the policy change, saying they were not consulted and that the appraisal process was labourious and a waste of time.

They accused the TSC of disrupting learning and teaching by forcing teachers to spend many hours in cyber cafes downloading and filling the appraisal forms.

Teachers complained that the paper work involved was time-consuming and required reliable Internet, which they said was unavailable in some places.

But TSC explained that the system was a tool to help it get real-time feedback about the activities going on in schools, teachers’ competencies, gaps in training and the standards of teaching and learning in individual schools.

According to Dr Nthamburi’s report to TSC regional directors, 22,607 teachers representing 6.61 per cent did not complete the process for term three and their appraisals were pending at various stages. Out of these, 4,703 teachers did not complete appraising themselves, 5,829 submitted their forms but were not appraised by their supervisors while 6,059 forms had missing signatures.

He asked the directors to send a report showing reasons for non-compliance in their counties, list of teachers who have not been captured in the system and the reason why, table of missing schools and an explanation as to why some forms had missing signatures.

He also asked the directors to demonstrate how they would ensure 100 per cent compliance in their areas besides giving suggestions on how the online system can be improved.