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Kenya: New scheme to weed out ghost teachers on TSC pay


The new Sh5.9 billion medical scheme for teachers will be a double victory for the State. Not only will the scheme afford teachers better medical cover, but it will also help smoke out ghost workers in the profession.

The 288,000 teachers under the cover will undergo a mandatory biometric registration process with the details kept by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

Biometric registration will capture active teachers and weed out ‘ghost teachers’ and ineligible dependents. This will help TSC eliminatre ghost workers from its payroll database.

During registration, the teachers will input their TSC number, national identity card number, and mobile phone number.

These will be cross-checked against the TSC, Communications Authority of Kenya and national Registrar of Persons databases to enable three-way matching.

As teachers look forward to the Sh5.9 billion robust medical cover effective from July 1, it is emerging that the new scheme will also smoke out ghost workers in the profession.

All the 288,000 teachers under the cover will undergo a mandatory biometric registration process that will allow them to access medical services across East Africa.

The scheme details indicate the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will host the database of all the teachers whose details will have been captured during the biometric registration process. This means that employees who 'manipulate the system' to benefit from TSC services without the knowledge of the commission will be weeded out.

"A purely manual system would be vulnerable to manipulation and introduction of non-members into the scheme. Biometric registration shall eliminate 'ghost teachers' and ineligible dependants," reads the brief seen by The Standard.

"TSC will be able to have a fully flanked database of teachers in active service and will therefore be able to identify ghost workers in the TSC payroll database," reads the document.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) are on record accusing TSC of not weeding out 'ghost workers' from its payroll. Details of the mobile phone medical scheme administration solution that will manage teachers' medical cover reveal a raft of controls that would curb fraud and ensure only genuine members and beneficiaries' access the health services. The document says teachers will register through an Unstructured Supplementary Services Data module at no cost.

"The system shall then authenticate the registration using the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) mobile phone database to verify the teacher as the true owner of the phone and the TSC employee database," reads the brief.

Biometric solution and mobile phone services will cost Sh535 million, of which Sh58.3 million will be tax money.

During registration, all teachers will dial a short code, then enter their TSC and national identification numbers.

"The TSC number, ID number and mobile number are the unique identifiers. They shall cross-reference against the TSC, CAK and National Registrar of persons databases to ensure a three-way matching," reads the document.

The brief says TSC employee payroll database will confirm the teachers' job group and applicable benefits.

The document also says the technology shall provide members with a 'mobile health wallet' where teachers' entire medical history will be accessible through their mobile phone.

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