The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has released guidelines on how teachers will be promoted as it introduced a competitive recruitment process for administrative positions.
In the guidelines, promotion of teachers will be based on existence of funded vacancies in the approved establishment, minimum qualifications per grade and relevant Teacher Professional Development (TPD) modules.
Others will be relevant experience and satisfactory performance.
However, the policy does not talk about those who have attained higher academic qualifications, an issue that has been the source of conflict between the commission and teachers’ unions.
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In a circular to TSC county directors and other education officials, TSC chief executive officer Nancy Macharia said the guidelines are operational effective November 8, 2017.
“The guidelines effectively replace the following: scheme of service for non-graduate teachers, scheme of service for graduate teachers and scheme of service for technical teachers and lecturers,” Mrs Macharia said.
The guidelines provide for the policies and procedures that have standardised teachers’ professional development and grading structure, which has taken into account the job evaluation report.
“Teachers will be required to undertake prescribed professional development programmes to facilitate their career progression as per provisions of Regulation 48 of the Code of Regulations for Teachers,” the 142-page document dubbed Career progression guidelines for teachers service states.
The guidelines are applicable to teachers serving in the following public institutions: primary schools, secondary schools, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions, Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs), Kenya Institute of Special Education, (KISE), Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA); and special needs institutions.
“Recognised qualifications will be those attained from accredited institutions or colleges and from government approved examination bodies.
"The commission expects the Commission for University Education or other relevant examining bodies to equate certificates from foreign universities and colleges in accordance with the law,” the guidelines say.
A primary school teacher will be required to have C (plain) in KCSE exam and Primary Teacher Education (PTE) Certificate while the entry grades for the visually and hearing impaired for PTE will be a C- (minus).
Secondary school teachers will be required to have KCSE grade C+ (plus) and a Diploma in Education or KCSE C+ (plus) and a Bachelor’s degree in Education or a Postgraduate Diploma in Education.
For technical colleges, lecturers will be required to have KCSE C+ (plus) and a diploma in a relevant technical subject plus a Diploma in Technical Education, KCSE C- (minus), certificate, diploma and Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject area plus a Diploma in Technical Education.
For special needs education, the teacher will be required to have KCSE C+ (plus) and Diploma in Special Needs Education or KCSE C+ (plus) and a Bachelor’s degree in Special Needs Education.
“Direct appointment to any level will be determined by the entry qualifications and competencies prescribed for each level. Direct appointment is provided for at various levels within the respective progression guidelines,” the guidelines say.
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The guidelines further state that teachers serving as at November 8, 2017 will adopt and convert as appropriate to the new designations and grading structure provided.
However, to advance to higher posts, the teachers or lecturers must possess the minimum prescribed qualifications and or experience required in each grade.
The guidelines will be linked to the remuneration framework that will be determined by the commission in accordance with the law.
The commission has also established a new grading structure for the teaching service, which has elongated the job scales from 10 to 11 grades based on the relative worth of each job.
The grades established for each category of institutions are: eight grades for primary school teachers, 10 grades for secondary school teachers, six grades for teachers at Centre for Mathematics, Science Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA), eight grades for teachers in TVET institutions, seven grades for teachers in TTCs and eight grades for teachers in KISE.
Under special needs education institutions, in primary schools, there will be five grades, eight grades in secondary and eight grades in TVET.
The following grades will form the common establishment in the teaching service: Primary Teacher II, T-Scale 5 and Primary Teacher I, T-Scale 6.
Secondary Teacher III/Lecturer III T-Scale 6 and Secondary Teacher II/Lecturer II-T Scale 7 for Diploma holders and Secondary Teacher II/Lecturer II-T Scale 7 and Secondary Teacher I/Lecturer I T scale 8 for holders of Bachelor of Education or its equivalent.
All teachers will be required to meet the requirements of Chapter Six of the constitution and the commission’s requirements.
Primary Teacher I-T Scale 6 will be a promotion grade for primary school teachers.
To qualify for promotion to the grade of Primary Teacher I, a teacher will be required to have served as Primary Teacher II-T Scale 5 for a minimum period of three years and must have satisfactory rating in the performance appraisal process.