Thousands of primary heads without degrees are likely to face demotion in January as the reforms proposed by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) take effect.
The headteachers of primary schools currently serving as heads in Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) under the new Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) will hold their positions until December 30, 2023.
A proposal is in place to create Comprehensive Schools where pre-school, primary school, and JSS are managed by a headteacher within the same compound.
Currently, Kenya has over 23,000 public primary schools hosting Junior Secondary Schools.
Headteachers who do not qualify for headship in the comprehensive schools will be stripped of certain roles, including control over school operations and funds.
The PWPER report states that the head of the comprehensive school will serve as the accounting officer for all its sections.
Due to the commission’s inability to draw candidates for the administration positions, some schools have been functioning without substantive heads.
The positions have been advertised since December 2022.
Teachers unions attribute the predicament on the commission, claiming that thousands of tutors have remained in the same job groups for a long time and are therefore ineligible for advancement to administrative posts.
The composition of the School Board of Management (BOM) will also change. Currently, the JSSs are managed by an interim sub-committee from the primary school BOM.
The report proposes limiting the number of BOM to nine or Ten members.
Furthermore, the heads of the comprehensive and senior secondary schools will be accountable to the Ministry of Education instead of the Teachers Service Commission, as was previously the case.