PROFESSIONALISE TEACHING CAREER –
Professionalising teaching may set the stage for improvements in the Teaching sub-sector, but this cannot be realised before the review of Teachers Service Commission Act (2012} and Basic Education Act (2013). Particularly, the Code of Regulations for Teachers and the Code of Ethics need comprehensive review to achieve the desired changes.
Therefore, the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms should study all laws governing the Basic Education sub-sector and make recommendations for the review of the legislation with a view to addressing duplication of mandate, ambiguities, constraints and improving linkages between the Ministry of Education and Teachers Service Commission.
The Working Party as a matter of fact has to re-evaluate and redefine TSC Act and the Basic Education Act, and promptly make consequential changes on the laws governing Basic Education. To begin with, TSC has to split to create a separate body to serve as the teacher employer, and another being a professional body to serve as the teachers’ regulator.
The taskforce should thus re-examine and assess the Constitution and the enabling Acts, and make recommendations why the law on education should be reviewed with the view to creating a teacher regulating body. The Working Party should specifically relook at TSC Act which allows the Commission to perform the duties of both a regulator and employer.
The regulator, to be known as Teaching Council of Kenya should be charged with specific functions that include:
- Registration of teachers;
- Develop and review the Code of Conduct and Regulations for Teachers;
- Discipline errant teachers;
- Regulate professional conduct of teachers;
- Promote, protect and advance the general interests of teachers;
- Collaborate with unions to set terms and conditions of service for teachers;
- Investigate allegations of professional misconduct and impose such sanctions as may be necessary, and
- Advise the National Government on matters relating to the teaching
The professional body should also accredit Teacher Training Colleges and faculties of education in universities; facilitate career progression and more importantly, monitor quality control and assurance of education facilities and services.
New Functions of TSC
On the other hand, TSC should be confined to:
To formulate policies to achieve its mandate;
Recruit, employ and deploy registered teachers;
Assign teachers employed by the Commission;
Promote and transfer teachers;
Terminate the employment of teachers;
Review the demand for the supply of teachers;
Manage the payroll of teachers in its employment; and
Collaborate with the professional body and teachers’ organizations to facilitate a seamless Teaching Service and also develop linkages with middle-level colleges and universities for the purposes of keeping abreast with dynamics at these levels of learning and training.
It should_be noted that Article 237 which established TSC does not give the Commission powers to regulate teachers, moreover it does not confer TSC with the function of quality assurance and standards. Training and capacity building of teachers which include, Teacher Professional Development is a function of the Ministry of Education -the Commission can only offer advice where necessary.