Ministry reshuffles subcounty directors ahead of TSC takeover.
It appears that the Ministry of Education is rearranging its sub-county directors in an effort to replace the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
With new sub county directors reporting, a number of sub counties have already undergone changes. Kenya has 290 constituencies that act as subcounties.
Beginning the next year, the Ministry of Education will henceforth handle a sizable portion of TSC duties.
On Tuesday, August 1, 2023, President William Ruto delivered the report of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER), which details the revisions.
The president has already commanded that the recommendations of the taskforce on education, which was headed by Prof. Raphael Munavu, be put into action right away.
TSC will cede significant authority to the Ministry under the new amendments, whose implementation the panel recommended be completed within a year.
However, certain amendments will need a parliamentary act, while others would call for a referendum.
1. An education sector regulator
Currently, the Commission serves as both an employer and a regulator in the field of education.
The Kenya Professional Teaching Standards (KePTS) is a new regulating agency that has been proposed by the Taskforce.
2. Quality control
The Taskforce noticed that the Ministry of Education and the TSC were doing the same quality assurance tasks.
This is true even though the Constitution requires the Commission to assess educational standards, prepare those who wish to become teachers, and monitor instructors’ adherence to established teaching standards.
It has been suggested that the TSC regulations be changed to eliminate the overlap and that the Ministry take up the function entirely.
Additionally, all TSC staff members who work in the quality assurance division, such as Curriculum Support Officers (CSO), would be transferred to the Ministry.
3. Principals and head teachers must be held accountable
The Commission is currently responsible for holding the school heads accountable, but under the proposed changes, TSC would only be responsible for hiring and deploying staff.
The new structure has been modeled after the public service commission, and the heads will act as the Ministry’s representatives when managing the institutions, making them answerable to it as authorized and accounting officers.
4. CBC and additional teacher preparation
The Commission is in charge of retraining instructors for competency-based curriculum (CBC) within the current system.
In reality, the TSC Act mandates that the Commission implement career advancement and professional development initiatives for certified teachers.
It has been suggested, though, that the Ministry take over the responsibility for everything, including paying teachers’ salaries.
5. Transfers of Teachers
Ruto’s taskforce recommended that this be done together with the Ministry of Education while the Commission has been making decisions regarding the transfers of instructors.
In other words, before moving teachers, TSC will need to get authorization and consent.
The Ministry will be represented on the committees responsible for assigning and moving principals and head teachers.
Cases involving teacher discipline
An Education appeals tribunal will have the authority to handle disciplinary cases and decision-related appeals in place of the TSC, which will no longer be in charge of doing so.
This means that any member who is unhappy with the TSC’s decision may appeal to the Tribunal.
The TSC Act does not yet have an appeals provision.
According to the code of regulations for teachers, the discipline process will be handled at the Commission’s headquarters and at the county level. An ad hoc committee of the Commission called the Teachers Service Review Committee has also been established, and its purpose is to consider and decide on appeals that result from the discipline process as prescribed by regulations.
7. Teacher Promotions
The Constitution’s Article 237 (2) (c) and (d) requires TSC to promote instructors. However, the Taskforce pointed out that the Ministry was not involved, thus it was suggested that TSC approach the Ministry before making the adjustments.
8. Coverage by health insurance
It has been suggested that the teachers’ health insurance program be reviewed going ahead.
The Ministry and TSC will work together on this.
9. Information Management
The right to access information under Article 35 of the Constitution’s states would be restricted to the nature and extent stated under Section 42(5) of the TSC Act.
The removal of Section 42(5) has been proposed.
Additionally, the Data Commissioner will register the Commission as a data controller under the Data Protection Act.
In order to develop its terms of reference for the reform of Kenya’s education system, the team sought input from the general public and other sector players.
10. Management of the Commission’s business
Currently, one-half of the commission’s members must be present for a meeting to be quorate. A quorum is defined as two-thirds of the members in the new report.