Should a petition proposed by Members of Parliament (Mps) get adopted, all PTE teachers who furthered there studies will have nothing but a smile to the bank as Teachers Service Commission (TSC) awards them with promotions.
The parliamentary Education and Research committee yesterday resolved to invite the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to respond to a petition tabled in Parliament seeking to compel the employer to acknowledge degrees attained by in-service teachers from recognised universities.
The petition, presented by ODM nominated MP Wilson Sossion, wants Parliament to recommend that the TSC puts in place policy guidelines to promote or upgrade teachers who successfully acquire qualifications from recognised institutions in line with international best practices.
The Commission does not want to promote primary and secondary school teachers who lack grade C+ (plus) in KCSE exams including C+ (plus) in the teaching subjects.
However the committee, chaired by Busia MP Florence Mutua, said that the petition had raised pertinent issues that need to be urgently discussed and addressed within the shortest time possible.
As a committee, we have supported the petition and agreed to invite the TSC to shed light on the issues raised. We have also agreed to urgently hear the petition and ensure we capture the cash needed to implement this in the next budget,” Ms Mutua said.
In the petition, signed by teachers Martha Omollo, Eva Muchemi and Salvin Munene, they want the MPs to enquire into the circumstances under which the TSC has since 2014 unilaterally declined to recognise diplomas, undergraduate, and graduate and post graduate degrees earned by in-service teachers from recognised universities.
“That in the interest of self-improvement, many teachers have progressively advanced their qualifications by pursuing and successfully earning high qualifications, ranging from diplomas, bachelors, masters and even doctoral degrees,” reads the petition.
The three teachers are members of the Kenya National Teachers Pressure Group (KNTPG), which the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary-General Collins Oyuu has dismissed as “an illegal group with no rights to speak for teachers”.
The TSC Act, 2012, emphasises the need for the commission to require every registered teacher to undertake career progression and professional development programme to be promoted.
In 2015, the commission abandoned the schemes of service, which considered the academic qualification when promoting teachers, and introduced the Career Progression Guidelines (CPGs), which focuses on teachers’ performance for promotions.
Mr Sossion said thousands of teachers have acquired higher qualifications but the commission has refused to recognise them, and insisted on using the CPGs.
“Your humble petitioners pray that this House, through the departmental Committee on Education and Research intervenes in the matter,” reads the petition.
Existing data shows that more than 30,000 teachers who acquired higher degrees and diplomas are yet to be promoted.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (Kuppet) Chairperson Omboko Milemba said the shift from schemes of service to CPG disadvantaged many teachers who had acquired loans to further their studies, in the hope of being promoted.
“Majority of those affected were primary school P1 teachers who went back to school and acquired diplomas and degrees, a large number of secondary school teachers also went back to school and acquired undergraduate degrees for those who had diplomas, Masters degrees while others hold PhD and are still in class with no promotion,” said Mr Milemba.
Mr Milemba, who is also the Emuhaya MP and a member of the Education Committee said the introduction of CPGs wastedthe efforts made by teachers to further their studies.
The promotion of teachers using the CPGs was among the issues that brought friction between TSC and Knut during Mr Sossion’s tenure as the secretary-general at the union, leading to endless court battles