Teachers and their unions have expressed mixed reactions following an announcement from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) regarding promotions of over 14,000 primary and secondary school educators to higher job positions.
Among those promoted are head teachers and deputy heads who were previously in acting roles. However, numerous teachers were disheartened upon receiving letters of regret on Friday, notifying them that their applications were not successful.
One teacher, who spoke on condition of anonymity , after receiving a regret letter this week, suggested that the National Assembly should request a detailed breakdown of how the promotions were distributed.
The issue of teacher promotions has sparked controversy as educators accuse the employer of hindering their career advancement.
In the current budget, the TSC was allocated 1 billion Shillings for promotions, although they had initially requested 2.2 billion Shillings.
Both the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) commended the TSC for promoting teachers. However, they called upon the commission to clarify the criteria used for promoting the 14,000 teachers while leaving others out.
Due to a lack of qualified applicants, the commission had to advertise the vacancies three times since last December. Yet, teachers place the blame on the commission for keeping them in the same job grades for years, resulting in stagnation.
They caution that the shortage of teachers in senior administrative roles poses a threat to succession plans, particularly as a majority of administrators are nearing retirement.
These teachers underwent interviews earlier this year after the TSC advertised vacancies, including 987 deputy head teacher positions in primary schools, six deputy principal positions in special needs schools, and eight principal positions in special needs schools. The vacancies arose due to natural attrition.
For several months, the TSC struggled to attract enough applicants for the senior administrative posts that have remained unfilled since last December.
Despite re-advertising and extending application deadlines, a total of 1,001 positions have remained vacant, with no applications received in the past six months.