Post-primary school teachers are seeking a revision of promotion formula to create a pool of tutors for the new Junior Secondary School (JSS) category.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary School Teachers said adequate promotion of teachers will go a long way in a successful transition to Junior Secondary.
According to Kuppet, the Teachers Service Commission was supposed to increase promotion slots for post primary teachers for a seamless transition of learners.
Kuppet Secretary General Akelo Misori said majority of teachers currently teaching in secondary schools have stagnated in the same job group for years and urged the TSC to provide data on extent of this problem.
“By the advertisement on vacancies for promotions on December 2022, the TSC has finally acknowledged the crisis of stagnation among teachers,” Misori said. “However, the advertisements were for limited positions, mainly those of responsibility, meaning that thousands of teachers would still be left out in the promotions.”
Misori demanded all those who have been acting in various capacities as senior teachers, Deputy Principals and Principals should earn automatic promotions.
“We demand promotion of all teachers in Job Group C2 to C3 be automatic after three years in service. We demand that no cadre should be left in promotion advertisements for as long as it is the case currently,” he added.
According to the official, thousands of teachers were currently working in secondary schools should have been the first to be considered for promotion to handle junior secondary schools.
He said those teachers appear to have been disregarded and priority given to diploma and graduate teachers working in primary schools.
He said promoting high school teachers will be an asset to the smooth transition of Grade Seven learners.
“Such promotions have mutually inclusive benefits and could be the motivation trigger for teachers to handle the challenging Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) with the high level of engagement and positive attitude,” Misori said.
He noted that many principals in Job Group D3 serving in Sub-County schools have stagnated in their ranks for many years and were not considered for the promotion.
“According to career progression guidelines, Senior Masters in secondary schools is a substantive deployment. We had noted that most schools don’t have substantive Senior Masters and therefore majority are internally appointed by schools where they have acted for long which is against the labour laws.”
Misori said, the 1,330 teachers set for promotion are too few considering the huge number of teachers who have stagnated in this category.
Further, majority of promotions are to replace those exiting the service but not necessarily promoting them.
Kuppet has given the Teachers Service Commission a week to provide criteria used to promote a certain cadre of teachers.
Last month, the National Assembly Education Committee took TSC Secretary Nancy Macharia to task to explain why it took long for the tutors to be promoted.
The MPs threatened to surcharge TSC over its failure to promote over 15,000 teachers and hire 5,000 interns despite government allocation for the purpose.
Led by the committee chairman, Tinderet MP Julius Melly, the legislators said the country had lost human capital from the commission’s mistakes.
“What are you going to do with these people who have already retired without getting their promotions? Who is going to pay the teachers?’’ said Melly.
“You will soon retire and I’m hoping that you will not suffer like you have made these teachers suffer. This is a serious issue which we are not going to sweep under the carpet.”
However, Macharia explained that the promotion and hiring of teachers is informed by government funding and the compressed school calendar which made it impossible for the commission to carry the exercise.
“Immediately after administering the exams we shall embark on the process of promoting teachers to different grades,” Macharia said.
TSC yielded to pressure and announced 14,742 chances for teachers who had stagnated in the same job group to be promoted this month.
In the promotions, primary teachers will take the lion’s share of 13,713 with 3,210 going to secondary while 10,507 promotion slots are set to be in primary schools.
Some 1,021 teachers will be sent to 18 Arid and Semi Arid Lands counties with other parts of the country sharing 13,717 teachers composed of principals, deputy principals, senior masters, head teachers in primary and secondary.
President William Ruto has recently announced that the government will use graduate teachers currently teaching in primary schools to teach the JS schools.
TSC Head of Legal Affairs Calvin Anyuor said, the commission will identify benefiting teachers and deploy them to teach Grade Seven learners.
“We are currently mapping those graduate teachers and shortly we will get the numbers right,” Anyuor said.
But, Misori said this happened against TSC’s own regulations, which provide the manner in which teachers are to be promoted.
“The union hereby calls for data on all teachers who have not received their deserved promotions, in order to hold the Commission accountable for the failure to follow its own regulations in promoting teachers,” he added.