Teachers employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) can now breathe a sigh of relief as a new bill has been introduced in Parliament to address their concerns. The bill, sponsored by Embakasi Central MP Benjamin Gathiru, aims to compel the TSC to confirm teachers serving in acting capacity within six months.
The bill seeks to amend the existing Act by imposing a six months limit on any public officer serving in an acting capacity.
Teachers have in the past found themselves in acting capacities for administrative roles, such as Senior Teachers, Senior Masters, Deputy Headteachers, Deputy Principals, Headteachers, Senior Headteachers, Principals, and Senior Principals, for extended periods without being officially confirmed.
The Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) has criticized TSC for failing to confirm teachers working in acting administrative roles over extended periods.
KUPPET National chairman Mr. Omboko Milemba pointed out that the current career progression guidelines make it challenging for classroom teachers to receive promotions unless they hold administrative positions.
Milemba highlighted the issue as an ongoing concern, stating that he is researching the matter with his office staff to gather relevant data.
He emphasized that promotions have become challenging to achieve without administrative roles, particularly affecting teachers in grades C3 and C4.
In a recent development, the National Assembly’s Labor Committee, while discussing the Public Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2023, also proposed a potential amendment to cap the retirement age at 55.
Kangundo MP Fabian Muli advocated for a reduction in the retirement age to benefit the youth of the country.
Should the proposed amendments be approved, many civil servants expected to retire in the next five years may do so at an earlier age. This could have far-reaching effects, including increased pressure on the government’s finances due to a higher pension burden.
The mandatory retirement age was raised from 55 to 60 years in 2009 to address the government’s growing pensions bill.
In the six months leading up to December 2021, the National Treasury disbursed Sh69.22 billion in pension and gratuity payments.
A 2016 audit revealed that 35 percent of national government employees were between the ages of 51 and 60.
According to the Public Service Commission’s Financial Year 2021/2022 annual report, 3,958 officers exited the service across 47 ministries, departments, and agencies.