The announcement by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) that it will not consider additional academic qualifications in the promotion of teachers must have come as a major blow to thousands of tutors.
The move dealt a deadly punch to their respective aspirations of climbing the teaching career ladder and earning more money. While the teachers’ employer position is bound to intensify its battles with the unions, time has come for clarity in the procedure for promoting teachers.
The fact is that thousands of teachers have been enrolling in institutions of higher learning in their quest for higher pay.
All one needed to do then was to enrol for evening classes in the parallel degree programmes introduced by the public universities. However, a major weakness in this scenario was that some teachers were even pursuing courses unrelated to their current profession.
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Another hurdle that worried parents was that many teachers were becoming more focused on their own academic progress, which only derailed and affected the quality of teaching in schools. Thus when the TSC stepped in and announced that promotions would no longer be based on acquisition of new degree qualifications all hell broke loose.
The TSC insists that going forward it will increasingly rely on professional in-service training, availability of funds, job experience and minimum qualifications per grade to guide the promotion of teachers. The teachers’ unions have also been opposed to the proposal to conduct performance appraisals for teachers.
At the end of the day, what matters most is for our children to receive quality education from their teachers. The TSC and the unions should sit down and come up with proper guidelines that will not only enhance the quality of learning but also ensure that deserving teachers receive their just rewards through recognition of their qualifications and service delivery.