We lack funding to promote over 7,000 primary teachers with requisite qualifications to teach in High School: TSC
By: Siyad Ismail
NAIROBI—The National Assembly’s Departmental Committee on Education chaired by Julius Melly (Tinderet) has concluded receiving submissions from state departments and agencies domiciled under the Ministry of Education on the 2023/2024 Budget Policy Statement.
Members of the Committee today put Teachers Service Commission (TSC) CEO Nancy Macharia on the spot over the large number of stagnated teachers for years.
Dr Macharia, in her submission revealed that the commission lacks funds to promote the tutors, pointing out that they require over Sh2 billion to conduct the exercise that will see more than 14,000 who are due for elevation promoted to the next level.
“We have been unable to promote these teachers because the Commission has not received promotion funds since the implementation of the 2021-2025 CBA,” said the TSC boss.
She added: “To address the stagnation outcry, the commission requires Sh2.2 billion to carry out the promotion of teachers in different job cadres.”
Last week, Nancy Macharia while appearing before the committee today, revealed that the process to identify the tutors has already started, assuring the MPs that the exercise will be completed “soon.”
“The country needs to know if there are any plans to promote teachers currently teaching in primary schools and deploy them to Junior Secondary Schools. And if yes, what is the number of tutors that will be elevated?” posed the Committee Chairperson.
“TSC has through the verification of personal files; identified 7,282 primary school teachers with requisite qualifications to teach in secondary schools as eligible for deployment to Junior Secondary Schools,” responded Ms Macharia who was accompanied by the agency’s chairman Jamleck Muturi and other commissioners.
Melly led members of the House team in quizzing the TSC officials in a number of other key issues affecting the important docket including the contentious medical cover for teachers, recruitment processes, promotion, and delocalization of teachers.
Earlier in the morning, the committee Vice chairperson Malulu Injendi (Malava) put the Commission on the spot on why teachers are forced to pay money when they visit hospitals, while they have a medical cover.
“Why are teachers compelled to make some payments when they look for medical attention? Why should they pay?” wondered Hon Malulu.
“ Co-pay is a standard practice. Even us in the secretariat make an extra payment we go to hospitals. For teachers, we actually negotiated and have the amount at Sh100 only, other people pay Sh500. This is quite affordable if you ask me,” said Macharia.
The Committee is scheduled to have another meeting with the Commission officials on Thursday to consider the Supplementary Budget estimates for the 2022/2023 financial year.
On Monday afternoon, the PS for State Department Beatrice Inyangala and her team while appearing before the House team was hard-pressed by MPs to explain why they have sanctioned the increase in university fees.
Melly together with his Vice Chair Malulu Injendi faulted the planned increase of fees from the current Sh16,000 to Sh48,000, explaining that it will be an extra burden to parents, especially during the ongoing tough economic times.
Responding to the concerns, PS Inyangala absolved her department from any blame in the matter, telling MPs that the proposal was a brainchild of the university vice chancellors in the country.
“The matter is still a proposal and it is not an issue we have decided on as a department. This committee and Kenyans will guide us,” said Inyangala.
The committee earlier on Monday morning also received submissions from Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang and his TVET counterpart Esther Muhoria.
[Additional reports and picture by The Parliament]