Stop TSC mischief in proposed law
Radical proposals contained in the Teachers Service Commission Act (Amendment) Bill 2024 have ruffled feathers in the education sector.
At a glance, some of the proposals appear to be well-intentioned, as they seem to further the interests of the learners, parents and guardians and the general public.
But some of the proposals are suspicious, particularly being pushed for enactment barely three months after the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) presented its report to President William Ruto and therefore raised eyebrows on the commission’s timing.
Already, teachers’ unions have come out with guns blazing over some of the proposals amid claims that they were not involved in their formulation despite playing a significant role in the education sector.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has threatened to boycott the public participation forums conducted by TSC over the proposals.
It is noteworthy that the commission has set February 15 as the deadline for all stakeholders to have submitted their proposals, raising yet more questions over the commission’s hurry on a matter that would affect and shape the careers and lives of millions of Kenyans.
Proposals intended to protect the interests of learners such as imposing stiffer penalties on teachers charging unauthorised levies, facilitating holiday tuition, withholding learners’ national examination certificates, falsifying enrolment data, using pupils to undertake household chores in their private homes and those found with teenagers in lodgings, are long overdue.
There have been cases in which teachers withhold certificates, impose unnecessary levies and subject children to tuition or remedial classes.
Coming at a time when education in Kenya has been commercialised by some teachers whose goal is to amass wealth, some of the proposals would obviously remedy the situation. But there is some mischief.
Besides pushing its way to sidestep the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and unions in determining teachers’ salaries, also seems keen to muzzle the Ministry of Education in the management of schools and teachers.
Perhaps this could be TSC’s strategy to deal with the PWPER report that had proposed that it be stripped of its function of regulating the teaching profession and confine it to the human resource role.