Why school heads will now be held accountable to MoE
Prior to 2010, the TSC appointed provisional education officers (PEOs) and district education officers (DEOs) as its agents for teacher management. If the TSC was unhappy with an agent’s performance, it might revoke their authorization, and the Ministry of Education would reassign them non-teacher management duties.
During my term as TSC Secretary, I used this method on a DEO, which was unusual and generated concerns inside the ministry. It did, however, push the agents to perform better.
The Presidential Working Party on Education Reform (PWPER) has proposed that the ministry appoint heads of primary and secondary schools as its representatives. Even though they oversaw schools on behalf of the ministry, PWPER said that the principal secretary responsible for Basic Education lacked control over the hiring, deployment, and discipline of head teachers.
This plan is similar to the previous TSC agency, however it presents a number of concerns. To begin, teachers, particularly principals, have been trained to respect ministry officials such as quality assurance officers and auditors who visit schools on a regular basis. Head teachers respected government officials even when the ministry did not offer financing (1990-2003 in primary schools and 1990-2008 in senior schools). As a result, the allegation that teachers solely revere TSC officials is false.
Second, as school principals are aware, any unfavorable quality assurance report from the ministry delivered to TSC will result in prompt action. For example, when numerous principals were accused in KCSE examination irregularities in 2002, the ministry presented proof, prompting TSC to arrest them. A PEO experienced similar consequences.
The third problem concerns the ministry’s audit department. In terms of procedure, any negative audit report with action recommendations would be reported to TSC. TSC would immediately arrest the implicated school leaders and initiate disciplinary proceedings against the auditor. A representative from the ministry’s director of professional services was also present. As a result, PWPER’s assertion that the ministry is uninvolved in this process is false.
Fourth, the appointment, deployment, and promotion of principals are all linked. Previously, the ministry provided for merit-based teacher promotions. While the government recognized and promoted high-performing teachers, others with disciplinary issues at TSC were also promoted. The TSC, as the teachers’ employer, had no involvement in these promotions.
The task committee did not explain why the previous system failed, necessitating the recommended adjustments. These issues must be evaluated, and a unified structure and method must be created to prevent the reappearance of previous concerns through procedures that generate loopholes and conflict.