EDUCATION REFORMS

Master's degree doesn't make one good leader, unionist tells TSC

Employer told to withdraw the requirement

In Summary

• Good performance in the national examinations determined by self will, self-drive and commitment not by the number of degrees an individual has, says unionist.

• Late last month, the TSC said it was reviewing the master’s degree requirement following the concerns raised by the unions.

A requirement by the teachers' employer that one should be a  master's degree holder to become a school principal is discriminative and in bad faith, Meru education stakeholders have said.

They demanded that the Teachers' Service Commission should withdraw the policy as it would be advantageous to communities that had progressed academically.

The stakeholders, among them Nyambene Kenya National Union of Teachers branch executive secretary Julius Taitumu, said good performance in the national examinations is determined by self will, self-drive and commitment and not the number of degrees an individual has.

Taitumu said there was no research indicating that those with master's degrees and above are better leaders than those without such qualifications.

"You can have a load of degrees or doctorates but fail to lead. Let them (TSC) give us a sample of headteachers who perform better than their colleagues simply because they have master's or doctorate degrees. A bachelor's degree is adequate,” he said.

The unionist accused TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia of being a stumbling block to the education sector and called for her resignation.

Taitumu called for fair distribution of leadership positions across the country.

But the unionist seems to be unaware that late last month, the  TSC said it was reviewing the master’s degree requirement following concerns raised by both the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers and Knut.

Macharia explained that the requirement followed job evaluation and thanked teachers for their feedback on the matter.

Kuppet secretary-general Akelo Misori had said that the employer's career progression guideline did not require a master's degree.

Macharia commended teachers who had taken advantage of the liberalisation of higher education in the country and obtained academic and professional qualifications beyond the entry requirements.

“The commission commends such teachers for the initiative of obtaining new skills and knowledge. The teaching service, being the foundation of knowledge acquisition, requires its members to go beyond the minimum requirements in terms of training," she said in a statement.

The teachers' scheme of service says the minimum requirement for appointment as a secondary school principal is a Bachelor’s degree while that of a primary school head is a P1 certificate.

 Knut maintained that appointment of headteachers should be pegged on minimum entry requirements