Team wants Education ministry to claw back powers from TSC

Thursday, February 9th, 2023 06:50 | By
Education CS Ezekiel Machogu. PHOTO/Courtesy

The Ministry of Education could soon regain powers to manage schools through County Directors of Education, should recommendations by the task force on education reforms  be implemented.

In a move aimed at empowering  the ministry, it would also take charge of  Quality Assurance and Standards in all schools.

Although the Ministry of Education is mandated under the National Education Quality Assurance and Standards Framework for Basic Education Institutions (Neqasf) to supervise management and quality assurance in schools, the role has been usurped by TSC , leading to friction between the two.

This would see the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) being consigned  to management of human resource — teachers, and their professional development.

The rivalry between TSC and the Education ministry began in 2012 when then TSC Secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni  revoked the powers of then Provincial Directors of Education and District Education Officers, then under the Ministry, from managing teachers.

Through TSC Act (Cap 212) and Legal Notice No. 95 of 171, Lengoiboni stripped all PDEs and DEOs of powers to manage teachers’ affairs. The radical move was aimed at entrenching TSC as a constitutional commission. TSC has since then created County Directors of Education (CDE), structures that effectively replaced the old order.

The bad blood between the Ministry and TSC heightened when the former  established its own county structures in line with provisions of the  Constitution on devolved units.

Get a lifeline

At the same time, thousands of Form Four leavers who had been locked out of teachers training institutions due to stringent qualification rules could get a lifeline

The Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms, chaired by Raphael Munavu, has made far-reaching proposals that include stripping TSC of powers to manage the daily operations of schools, as well as quality assurance.

Should the task force have its way, the Ministry of Education will regain full control on school heads, contrary to the constitutional provision that mandates TSC with exclusive mandate to recruit, remunerate and discipline all government-employed teachers.

Sources privy to the report said that members of the task force have recommended the implementation of a mode similar to that of the relationship between  Public Service Commission (PSC) and Ministries, where the former recruits and remunerates while the latter has the sole prerogative of management.

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