The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) would be greatly affected by the proposed sector reforms since the Ministry of Education intends to reduce It’s power on staffing and regulation of teachers.
The Presidential the Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) recommends that the Ministry of Education take over control of crucial duties that are currently carried out exclusively by TSC.
According to the comprehensive policy proposals, the ministry will have a role in the transfer and promotion of teachers, which is a fundamental aspect of TSC’s mandate.
The proposal arises from the reality that the ministry provides major funding to schools but has little control over the fund managers who report directly to TSC.
This is due to the fact that school heads, designated as TSC agents in learning institutions, oversee the use of funds from the ministry.
PWPER has proposed cutting TSC’s human resource function significantly if their preliminary recommendations are included in the final report.
The proposal requires principals to report directly to the Ministry of Education rather than TSC.
According to the recommendations, principals will serve as authorized and accountable officers on behalf of the Ministry of Education.
The committee reached an agreement that TSC is unable to adequately oversee school financial management and has recommended that the ministry take over this responsibility instead.
The draft report states, “Where there has been a case of mismanagement of funds or resources by a headteacher or principal, the Ministry of Education cannot hold the headteacher accountable, nor is he/she involved in their discipline.”
In addition, the Ministry will now be responsible for retraining teachers, a duty that was previously performed by TSC.
As part of its mandate, TSC currently holds exclusive authority to retrain tutors, exerting influence over more than 300,000 teachers nationwide.
However, under the proposals, the ministry will take charge of career progression and professional development programs.
The Kenya School of Teacher Management (KeSTEM) will be incorporated by the government to oversee and manage all teacher professional development programs.
In addition, an independent tribunal may replace TSC as the only authority in deciding teacher disciplinary actions.
Teachers who have been disciplined by TSC and feel they have been treated unfairly will have the option of appealing their case to the Education Appeals Tribunal inside the Ministry of Education.
Currently, TSC’s appeals are handled by the Teachers Service Review Committee, an ad hoc subcommittee.
“The Act should provide that appeals of the decision of TSC be made at the Education Appeals Tribunal,” the draft report adds.
As a result, the Kenya Professional Teaching Standards (KePTS) will be established as a separate entity, greatly reducing TSC’s power as a regulator and employer.
This new body will assume the regulatory mandate currently held by TSC.
The task force also suggests giving the ministry’s team the authority to shut down institutions that break rules and policies, as the ministry will be taking over the quality assurance duty from TSC.
The working party also proposes that TSC relinquish its exclusive responsibility for keeping teachers’ records, as the Office of the Data Commissioner is set to be involved.
TSC will also delegate some of its procurement authority to the government in these far-reaching measures, with particular focus on the teachers’ medical scheme.