TSC IGNORES CALLS TO LOWER ENTRY POINTS, RETAINS THE 2019/20 HIRING TERMS AND ENTRY GRADES FOR NORTHERNERS AS RECRUITMENT OF 1, 517 TEACHERS KICKS OFF
The Teachers Service Commission has remained adamant entry grades for teachers in the North-Eastern region.
This is after the Commission announced 1, 517 vacancies for tutors within the region. From the detailed recruitment guidelines outlined in the TSC advert, it is clear that the Commission will hire the teachers under the 2019/ 2020 recruitment guidelines.
According to the 2019/ 20 TSC recruitment guidelines, any teacher wishing to teach in secondary schools in Kenya must have attained a KCSE mean grade of C+ plus and above and hold either a diploma or bachelor’s degree or a postgraduate diploma in education from a certified / recognized tertiary institution.
Teachers wishing to teach in primary school, P1 teachers, on the other hand, must have scored a KCSE mean grade of C plain and above and be holders of a Primary Teacher Education Certificate.
Earlier, leaders from the North Eastern counties tried to push the agenda about lowering entry grades for teachers in the North-Eastern region to teacher training colleges, but the education ministry revoked the orders.
The Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang wrote a letter to all the eight regional directors of education instructing them to ensure all private and public colleges train students who attain a minimum KCSE mean grade of C plain for certificate and C+ plus for diploma courses.
This move greatly disoriented teacher trainees who had unfortunately enrolled for certificate courses at TTCs after the ministry lowered the entry grade to D+ plus for 17 counties that had been gazette as marginalized.
Opposing the ministry’s move to retain the entry grades, Aden Duale, said that lowering entry grades was a golden opportunity for the Northern region since it could address the issue of teacher shortages occasioned by terror attacks.
By the time the education ministry revoked orders to lower entry grades, 300 students with D+ plus had already joined the Garissa Teachers Training College.
SECURITY OF TEACHERS
In January 2020 teachers posted by the TSC in the North Eastern Counties had to flee for fear of discrimination emanating from the host communities.
TSC said it could not compel the non-local teachers to continue offering their services unless their security is guaranteed.
Consequently, education in the region was paralyzed as the mass exodus of teachers to safer regions kicked off.
Since then, pressure has been piling up on the Teachers Service Commission to either facilitate the return of the non-local teachers or lower entry grades for locals into teachers training colleges to bridge the teaching gaps.
According to the Kenya Human Rights Commission’s submission, Al Shabaab militia has been systematically attacking non-local teachers posted in the region sometimes with the full knowledge of the local communities.
The KHRC added that non-local teachers are constantly discriminated against on grounds of religion and cultural backgrounds.
MASS TRANSFERS OF NON-LOCAL TEACHERS
A total of 2, 340 non-local teachers were transferred in January following a terror attack in the wee hours of dawn in Kamuthe area in Garissa County.
In January 2015, 1, 400 non-local teachers camped at the TSC headquarters in Nairobi demanding transfers following terror-attacks.
In its defense, the TSC said that it can only repost non-local teachers to the region if their security is guaranteed.
Appearing before the National Assembly’s Education Committee in January, TSC CEO Dr. Nancy Macharia said that the Commission had used all tactics to force non-local teachers to stay in the North since 2014 and 42 teachers’ lives have been lost.
Some of the tactics employed to force teachers to work in Mandera, Garissa, and Wajir Counties included massive interdiction and dismissal.
Despite the threats, the teachers still camped at the Headquarters, with some moving to court to challenge the decisions.
Consequently, family members of slain teachers have been demanding compensation for loss of life in the course of duty.
Since 2014, 42 teachers have died in militia attacks in the North-Eastern region.