•Senators have criticised the Teachers Service Commission over what they term as unfair promotions that have led to demoralisation of teachers.
•The lawmakers cited a TSC policy that pegs promotion of teachers to the performance of their learners.
Senators have criticised the Teachers Service Commission over what they term as unfair promotions that demoralise teachers.
The lawmakers cited a TSC policy that pegs promotion of teachers to the performance of their learners.
It states that teachers to be promoted to the positions of head teacher, county director and sub-ounty director must be drawn only from those who serve in Job groups L, M and N.
“However, the question is: Who determines the performance of students? Is it the teacher per se?" nominated senator Isaac Mwaura posed.
Mwaura said there are many factors that affect the performance of students, including environment and poverty levels, where students do not have food at home, for example.
“Therefore, to grade teachers depending on the performance of their students is unfair,” he added.
Mwaura spoke in the House where he sought from the teachers' employer the names and distribution of the teachers who have been promoted in the recent past, alleging that the process is skewed.
He asked TSC to fairly promote and rate teachers depending on the performance as per the students’ targets, insisting that the targets for teachers in boarding schools should be different from those of students in day schools, county schools, etcetera.
“We also need to look at the number of years that a teacher has worked. Some teachers work for 20 years in the same job group,” he said.
Bomet Senator Christopher Langat noted that issues of promotion and recruitment had become a big problem.
Senator Langat said there are teachers who graduated as late as 2013 and got promoted yet those who graduated many years ago, for example 12 or 13 years ago, have not been promoted despite the fact that their performance is good.
Nominated Senator Agnes Zani said that issue of promotion is key as it determines many things including but not limited to salaries and personal achievements.
She said the discrepancies in promotion are even projected to worsen due to the Competency Based Curriculum, where the current Standard Six and Grade Four pupils will have a double intake as they go to Form One.
“It is predicted that about 60,000 teachers will need to be added by 2023. This means that the issues of recruitment, criteria for promotion and fairness need to come out clearly,” she said.
“Whether it is a perception or reality, the data will show for itself where promotions seem to be skewed. Sometimes, it is not only skewed within a county but also across various counties”.
Kitui Senator Enock Wambua asked TSC to come up with a clear progression path for teachers, saying its absence breeds disaffection among teachers.
“These days we are dealing with many of cases of teachers engaging in side activities to earn a living because the career progression path is not clear,” said Wambua.
“They do not even know whether they will grow into anything,” he added, saying that promotion in employment is a very serious issue because it helps employees plan their lives.
The lawmaker explained that promotion should be based on a clear criterion, which rewards both time and performance.
He said there are teachers who have been in the classroom for a long time, perform well but never get promoted.
“There are others who get in today and in a few years are at the top of the pyramid. It is important that this matter is dealt with,” the senator said.
Edited by Henry Makori