President William Ruto’s intention to effect promotion of 5,000 teachers directly and 36,000 indirectly has caused a heated debate among teachers and stakeholders in the education sector.
Ruto recently disclosed a plan with the Teachers Service Commission(TSC) to motivate teachers in different cadres in the country.
“We have worked with the TSC so that we can incentivize our teachers to bring out their best by making sure that teachers who do well will be promoted. This year, we have provided for the promotion of 5,000 teachers directly, and 36,000 teachers will be promoted indirectly. We have provided a billion shillings that will go in that direction,” Ruto said.
These remarks left some teachers perplexed as they sought clarification on the nature of this proposed promotion.
Speaking during an interview at TV47 , Hesbon Otieno, Deputy Secretary General of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), pointed out that any promotion without a corresponding salary increase does not align with the concept of promotion.
“All promotions must come with some salary increase. I have heard others say that promotion means being made a senior teacher from a class teacher or a senior teacher to a deputy headteacher, and the salary remains the same. That is not a promotion. It is being given extra work and being used like a donkey,” Otieno opined.
When asked about the direct and indirect promotion criteria, Otieno emphasized that the issue primarily pertains to human resources and collective bargaining.
Regarding teacher promotions nationwide, the KNUT SG highlighted that many educators have remained in the same job grade for an extended period.
“These teachers, who have experienced stagnation, predominantly belong to job groups C1, C2, and C3. This issue is primarily attributed to what we see as the discriminatory Career Progression Guideline, which we believe requires a comprehensive review,” he asserted.
Otieno further clarified that the government does not have a direct role in teacher deployment, as these matters fall under the purview of the Teachers Service Commission.
In the 2023-2024 budget, there has been a substantial increase in funding allocated to the education sector, reaching a historic milestone. Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u proposed a budget allocation of KSh 628.6 billion for the education sector.
Of this proposed budget, KSh 12.5 billion is earmarked for free primary education. At the same time, KSh 65.4 billion will support free day secondary school education, encompassing insurance and National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) coverage for secondary school students.
KSh 25.5 billion is allocated for junior secondary school capitation, KSh 5 billion for examination fee waivers, and KSh 4.8 billion to facilitate the recruitment of 20,000 intern teachers.