The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has finally settled the debate on which teachers will attend to learners who will join junior secondary schools at Grade 7, 8 and 9.
The Commission had initially raised hope for thousands of primary school teachers with various higher academic qualifications but have failed to secure promotions after coming of the Career Progression Guidelines (CPG).
These are primary school teachers with the following qualifications;
1) Diploma and Degree in Special Needs Education
2) Diploma and Degree in Early Childhood Development Education
3) Diploma in Education (Primary option)
4) Diploma in Education (Secondary option)
5) Degree in Education (Secondary option) but lacking C+ at KCSE or C+ in teaching subjects
In a report titled Status Report on Teacher Preparedness for Competence Based Curriculum Implementation which was presented before the Parliamentary Committee on Education, TSC had said that it will deploy P1 teachers who hold Diplomas, Higher Diplomas, under graduate Degrees, Post-graduate Diplomas, Masters and PHDs to teach at junior secondary schools (JSS).
TSC was hard pressed to issue its report on status of preparedness ahead of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) transition classes and the looming double intake in 2023.
Currently TSC only deploys primary school teachers with Bachelors in Education (Secondary option) to teach in secondary schools.
The deployed teachers must also have at least C+ at KCSE and at least C+ in the teaching subjects.
TSC deployment policy has led to an outcry after locking out thousands of primary school teachers who attended higher institutions of learning but their certificates rendered useless.
A good example are teachers who joined universities with C (plain) mean grade at KCSE to study Bachelors in Education (Secondary option) but are now not eligible for deployment.
The Commission is beating an about turn and now galvanizing on high school teachers ahead of the roll out of the junior secondary classes.
TSC says training of primary school teachers who will handle Grade Six pupils will be done in December 2021.The Commission made the revelations at Hilton Hotel in Nairobi last week, September 14 during Education ministry’s top officials’ meeting with the Kenya Editors Guild.
However TSC said only high school teachers will be trained to handle Grade 7, 8 and 9 which are the junior secondary classes. TSC said at least 60,000 high school teachers will, in March and April next year, be trained in preparation for the rollout of junior secondary.
The Ministry of Education is currently working to upgrade select primary schools to junior secondary schools. Primary schools with established infrastructure that can host a junior secondary school (JSS) wing will be upgraded.
Those that are under-enrolled and in close proximity will be merged and the infrastructure of one of them improved. Some schools will have both primary and junior secondary hosted in the same compound.
Junior secondary school will comprise of Grades 7, 8 and 9. In 2023, pioneer learners under the new 2-6-3-3-3 Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) system will transition to junior secondary school after sitting the Grade Six national examinations.
The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) said syllabus designs from Grade One to Ten are ready. The Education ministry further said that the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) will, from September 27 to October 1, roll out the pilot summative assessment for Grade Six pupils in select primary schools.
This, the ministry says, will enable the exams body to generate a sample paper for the final assessment. KNEC will use the current Grade 5 learners to pilot summative assessment for Grade Six.
The pilot test will also allow KNEC to establish suitability of the assessment tools, the exams’ difficulty levels, language appropriateness, adequacy of the duration of the exam and the reporting format for learners’ competencies.
The pilot test will be conducted in both public and private primary schools in the 47 counties. Basic Education Principal Secretary Dr. Julius Jwan further reiterated the ministry’s commitment to the CBC.
“parents are only complaining about too much work given to the learners, but have no issue with the quality of learning offered,” said Juan. “Parental engagement in their children’s learning is vital,” he said.
In 2023 when Grade 6 will move to Grade 7 (junior secondary) it is also the year Class Six learners under the 8-4-4 education system will join Form One after sitting the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education Examinations (KCPE), thereby presenting a huge infrastructure and staffing challenge of hosting 2.6 million children.
A report by CBC task force says the total number of Grade Six and Standard Eight learners expected to join secondary school in 2023 will be 2,571,044.
“Approximately 1,250,649 learners enrolled at Grade 4 in 2020 will transit to Junior secondary school (Grade 7) as the first cohort of the 2-6-3-3-3 while the 1,320,395 Standard Six cohort of 2020 will transition to Form One under 8-4-4 system in 2023,” reads the CBC task force report.
TSC will deploy 1,000 successful P1 graduate teachers to teach in high school this financial year (2021 – 2022).
TSC said the teachers will help in supporting the 100 percent transition from primary to secondary schools. TSC had advertised 1,000 deployment posts in 2019 and another 1,000 in September last year.
The Commission advertised 1,000 deployment posts July this year for PTE certificate holders to apply. Those deployed will start at job grade C2 at salary scale 34,955 per month and will move to job grade C3 upon completion of three years as stipulated in Career Progression Guidelines for teachers (CPG).
“Successful candidates under this category shall be appointed at T-Scale 7, Grade C2 under the Career Progression Guidelines for Teachers and shall be deployed to secondary schools where vacancies exist,” TSC said in the advert.
From July 2021 a deployed teacher at C2 takes home shs 34,955 at minimum in basic pay and shs 43,694 at maximum. The teacher enjoys a commuter allowance of shs 5,000 a house allowance of shs 7,500 for those who are not in any municipality and a leave allowance of shs 6,000 paid once yearly. Those in hardship areas enjoy hardship allowance of shs 10,900 .
The teacher will then move automatically to Grade C3 after completing three years as outlined in CPG. In C3 he will earn shs 43,154 basic pay at minimum and sh 53,943 at maximum.
TSC highlighted the following requirements for one to qualify for promotion and deployment to secondary school;
i) Be a Kenyan citizen;
ii) Be a holder of a P1 Certificate;
iii) Be a holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with 2 teaching subjects;
iv) Must have attained at least c+ (Plus) mean grade at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) or its equivalent and C+ (Plus) or it’s equivalent in the two teaching subjects;
v) Must be serving under Teachers Service Commission.
Already a total of 2,000 P1 graduate teachers were promoted to teach in secondary schools in the last two years. TSC had advertised 1,000 deployment posts in 2019 and another 1,000 in September last year and has finished issuing deployment letters for the the successful applicants.
In July 2021 TSC advertised f another 1,000 deployment vacancies for practicing primary school teachers to apply. Teachers who applied for deployment are anxious as TSC delays to promote them to teach in secondary schools. TSC is currently facing huge teacher shortage. The Commission will require at least 36,000 new teachers to teach in junior secondary.
Last year it emerged that at least 25,000 teachers will retire in two years time.
In November 2020 the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Teachers (Kuppet) revealed a report which showed that half of these tutors are above 59 years and therefore are due for retirement in June 2021.
“Our finding is that as of November 2020, the teaching service has 25,000 teachers aged 58 and above…meaning Kenya is facing a deep teacher shortage that calls for radical measures to address,” said Kuppet secretary general Akello Misori.
TSC said it would require Sh17 billion to hire 12,000 teachers in 2021. “We call for urgent plans for the hiring of at least 50,000 teachers over the next one year and at least 15,000 per year between 2021 and 2026,” said Mr Misori.
The commission’s target has not been met due to inadequate budgetary provision.
The Treasury allocated the TSC Sh3.2 billion for teacher recruitment in the year starting July 2021 despite a request of Sh20.2 billion thus hurting its plans of increasing teacher numbers.
In June this year the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani proposed Kshs. 2.5 billion allocation to support recruitment of additional teachers in the Financial year 2021/2022. In June TSC released its plan on how it will employ teachers in the next three years.
In the plan contained in the Programme-Based Budget 2021, TSC said it will employ 15,000 secondary school teachers starting this financial year. The Commission said it will employ at least 5,000 teachers annually in the next three years to curb looming crisis in secondary schools.
TSC also said it will engage the services of 5,500 interns on a one-year contract every year to plug staffing gaps in schools. However only 2,000 interns will be posted to primary schools each year.
The Commission advertised a total of 1,995 internship posts this month. A total of 1,038 posts went to primary schools while 957 went to high school. TSC also renewed internship for 4,005 teachers currently working in primary and secondary schools.