TSC holds the teachers’ open day; here is what the Commission said during the event

The Teachers Service Commission, TSC, on Wednesday September 25, 2019 held its first ever open teachers’ day in selected venues countrywide. During the event schools and teachers who posted good results in academics and Co-curricular activities were feted. The Theme this year’s day was; TSC INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION FOR QUALITY TEACHING

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Here is what the Commission Chair Dr Lydia Nzomo had to say during this all important day;

PREAMBLE
I wish to take this opportunity to extend to you all a very warm welcome to the third annual TSC Open Day. This is one of the most important days in the Commission’s calendar, and I am pleased that you were all able to join us.
It is always a great pleasure to engage and share our experiences with our stakeholders and even members of the public. Indeed, the Commission has received a lot of feedback on its services through the open day. I wish to thank you for being part of the Commission’s efforts to get a better understanding of its services and operations by stakeholders and the public.

Today is also a day that we appreciate one of our key stakeholders in the learning process, the teachers. Teachers are a key resource in the education sector as they play the crucial role of transforming and molding learners into responsible adults who fit well in the society.
We will be recognizing teachers who have excelled in various academic and co-curricular activities over the last year. I wish to take this early opportunity to appreciate the hard work of the headteachers, principals, and our teachers whose commitment to duty has gone a long way in shaping the future of the learners.

I am pleased to also welcome partners and stakeholders and wish to thank you most sincerely for the support and engagement with the Commission that has gone a long way in enabling the Commission improve delivery of its services. The Commission appreciates working with you and assures you that we value your contributions.
I hope that you will all have an opportunity today to spend some time at the exhibitions. The Commission has on display a wide range of services and comprehensive information on its operations. I encourage those who have not got the opportunity to visit the exhibitions to do so in the afternoon as the exhibitions will be open the whole day.

II. INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY IN SERVICE DELIVERY

Ladies and gentlemen,
Our theme for this year’s open day is “TSC Integrating Technology and Innovation for Quality Teaching”. The choice of this theme demonstrates the commitment of the TSC to embrace and integrate technology and innovation in its operations.
In today’s world, technology and innovation are changing the way we work on a scale never experienced before. It is driving radical changes that require us to critically rethink how we can ensure a sustainable future for the next generation.

Advancement in technology and innovation is not futuristic; it is already here with us. Technology more than ever before, is now challenging the traditional definition of a workplace. The email service has revolutionized the way we communicate, replacing the conventional letters. Technologies such as biometric attendance registers have been adopted by many institutions, including some of our schools. The biometric technology, which also sends messages to parents once their children arrive in school ensures students report to school on time and thereby minimizing chances of them engaging in mischief.

III. REENGINEERING SERVICE DELIVERY

Ladies and gentlemen,
The Commission recognizes the use of technology as a strategic resource. It is in view of this that the Commission has reengineered the delivery of service and has adopted technology based innovations to make accessibility of information and services easy, fast and reliable.
The ultimate goal is to provide real time services that a teacher or client can access in the comfort of their homes or places of duty. This is envisaged to enhance teachers contact hours with learners. Services that have been reengineered include;

a). Introduction of Electronic files

Effective November this year the Commission will roll out use of electronic teachers files. Currently the Commission is scanning all documents in teachers’ files to have them in electronic form through an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS).
This is anticipated to improve access to files by more than one user at the same time. This has been a big challenge for the Commission as access to the manual files has been limited to only one user at a time.
Cases of missing files will now be a thing of the past. Electronic Secretariat Files are already in use.

b). Internet Protocol telephony (IP)

Further to enhance communication between the Head office and the Counties, 11 County offices have been linked with similar telephone facility as that at the headquarters through Internet Protocol Telephony (IP). IP telephony offers phone technology using Internet connections.
This will make it easier to make telephone calls to County offices and vice versa. Moreover new telephone lines or extensions will be added on the network as funds are available. The Vision of the Commission is to have all counties connected for seamless provision of services.

IV. TECHNOLOGY BASED SERVICES

The Commission also offers the following services online.

Online tax deductions card (P)
Teachers and TSC Secretariat Staff can now access their P9 forms online alongside their payslips, through the TSC on-line service portal.
Thus they do not have to wait for June to make their returns. They can now make their tax returns as early as January of every year.

TSC Website (www.tsc.go.ke):
The Commission has a vibrant website where key activities of the Commission are posted as they happen. The website is also a key resource centre where teachers and the public easily access information on the services offered by the Commission. From the Website;
• Teachers can download various documents such as The Code of Regulations for Teachers, circulars and Gazette notices.
• Teachers can access and apply for advertised posts,
• Retired teachers whose pension claims have been processed and forwarded to the Director of Pensions are notified through the website.
• Papers presented during the First Teachers Conference that was recently concluded can be accessed through the website

Teachers online (www.teachersonline.go.ke)
i). Teacher registration
The Commission is mandated to register trained and qualified teachers before they engage in any teaching services in the country.
Through the Commission’s online system, applicants upload the requirements for registration. The Commission processes registratio within 30 days and a registration certificate is issued. The status of the application is also provided in the online system.
ii). T-Pay (payslip.tsc.go.ke)
Teachers can now view their latest pay information by accessing their pay slips online. The system also provides a function for teachers to send their latest pay slip to 30 parties such as banks, Saccos, amongst others, to facilitate acquisition of a loan.
iii).Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development (TPAD)
Teachers Performance Appraisal is now done online. The Commission is in the process of reviewing the online performance appraisal so as to make it more user friendly
iv). Wealth declaration:
Teachers and TSC secretariat staff are required to declare Income, Assets and Liabilities in accordance to the public Officer Ethics Act 2003. This can now be done through the TSC Website under the teachersonline link.
v). Teacher Management Information System (TMIS)
Effective teacher management requires use of accurate and up to date data. In response to this the Commission has developed an online data collection and analysis system- Teacher Management Information System (TMIS). Data is collected at the source which includes the school, TSC county offices, and the headquarters and is uploaded on the system. TMIS ensures there is a centralized source of data hence eases access of data.

Use of email to enhance communication.
The Commission’s email services continue to be a key channel of communication that teachers and other clients use to make enquiries.
This provides clients with a channel that enables them to reach the Commission at a click of a button. Clients can reach the Commission wherever they are, without having to travel to any of the Commission’s offices.

Commission’s social media platforms
The Commission’s social media platform, Facebook page (TSC KENYA) and twitter handle (@TSC_KE) are interactive platforms where teachers and other clients interact easily with the Commission. The Commission uses the platforms to post and share events as they happen and also bring to the attention of our clients’ urgent information meant for their attention. You are all encouraged to use the platforms to reach the Commission on any issue that you may have.

Bulk SMS
The bulk SMS platform has enabled the Commission deliver time-sensitive notifications, and other important information directly to the mobile phones of teachers and Secretariat Staff. TSC is now able to send out invitations to teachers for interviews, discipline hearings and cordial messages such as Christmas, Idd Ul Fitr, Easter, New Year’s. It has also been integrated with other systems to give instant feedback such a successful completion of a job application, registration amongst others. The Bulk SMS presents a more cost effective way of communicating to employees as opposed telephone calls or sending letters.

Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS)
This was developed to enable the Commission manage its human resource. Secretariat Staff now apply for leave, undertake performance appraisal and access medical scheme administration services such as updating their profiles, adding beneficiaries and give feedback about services in hospitals. They also can initiate card replacement and check referral hospitals in the various towns and regions.
The use of technology-based service channels, have improved service delivery greatly by reducing the human interface and providing timely response, accessibility and efficiency. Teachers no longer need to leave their stations to access services. They are able to access them even through their personal phones. I wish to assure you the Commission is committed to automating its services to provide real time services to the teachers and the public.

V. USE OF INNOVATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY IN DELIVERY OF
CURRICULUM

Ladies and gentlemen,

The use of innovations and technology is not limited to the Commission only. I am aware many teachers have enhanced their teaching through technology. We witnessed many other ICT champions demonstrate very innovative ways of teaching during the First Teachers conference held in June this year. The Global Teacher Award winner Peter Tabichi integrates ICT into 80 per cent of his lessons. In recognition of the efforts of such teachers who use technology to enhance learning, the Commission initiated the ICT Teacher of the Year (TOYA) award. The award is antipated to encourage teachers to take advantage and keep abreast with the fast changing technology.

I would like to encourage all teachers to embrace creative methods of teaching that are in tandem with our rapidly changing, technologically driven world. As David Warlick, an American educator and Author aptly put it, “we need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world”.

V. EMERGING ISSUES

At this juncture, I wish to focus on some pertinent issues in the education sector that are of mutual interest.

1) TEACHERS TRAINING ON THE COMPETENCY BASED CURRICULUM

Ladies and gentlemen,
The recently rolled out Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) lays emphasis on development of learner’s competencies and the use of digital technology. It focuses on equipping leaners with the ability to apply knowledge, skills and values taught in schools to solve life’s problems. This calls for new approaches to teaching and learning.

To ensure that teachers are adequately prepared to successfully steer the CBC, the Commission has trained Institutional Administrators and teachers of primary schools. The training has focused on Early Years Education (EYE) up to Grade Four levels. So far, the Commission has trained 181 Master Trainers who in turn trained 1,165 Curriculum Support Officers and 1,320 CBC champions as Trainer of Trainers. In total, the Commission has trained a total of 159,810 teachers during the year. (91,620 in April, and 68490 in August). A further 68490 teachers are scheduled to be trained in December bringing the total to 288,000 by the end of the year.
The Commission is set to progressively train all teachers in our public schools. This will also be complimented with continuous teacher professional development as training is a continuous process.

VI. PROTECTION OF THE LEARNERS
Ladies and gentlemen,
As stakeholders in the education sector, we all have a responsibility to ensure our learners get quality education and attain their full potential.
The safety of learners is one of the greatest concern of the Commission. Teachers have been given duty of care over the learners to even beyond the school environment. The Code of Conduct and Ethics for Teachers 2015 has tasked teachers to protect children from; abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, all forms of violence, discrimination, inhuman treatment, corporal punishment and exposure to hazardous or exploitative labour.

It is with this in mind that I ask all of us as stakeholders in the education sector to play our part in protecting our learners and ensuring that the school continues to be a safe learning environment.

VII. TPAD IMPACT ASSESSMENT REPORT

Ladies and gentlemen,
As I draw close to the end of my remarks, I wish to share with you a report on a baseline assessment on the impact assessment of Performance Contract for heads of Institutions and Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development (TPAD) that was done in 2017. Since the roll out of the TPAD in January 2016, the Commission has been monitoring its progress.
From the baseline assessment, it is has emerged that: –

a) Teachers’ competencies in preparation and maintenance of professional documents, learners’ assessment, identification of weak or talented learners and development of Individualized Education Programme (IEP) have been enhanced.
b) TPAD has also enhanced mastery of subject content, syllabus coverage, teaching methods and lesson observation techniques.
c) Teachers’ competencies in preparation of teaching /learning aids using locally available materials and using ICT to improve knowledge content and curriculum delivery have improved.
d) TPAD is seen to have influenced learners’ innovation and creativity by empowering learners to use ICT and develop their own learning materials.
e) TPAD has effectively promoted parental involvement in the learning process and has created linkages and networking with educational bodies.
It is evident that the three TPAD teaching standards assessed have enhanced teacher competencies and improved learning outcomes.

CONCLUSION
In conclusion, I once again thank each one of you for the part that you are playing in the lives of our learners. For those who will be receiving awards, I take this opportunity to congratulate you for the good work that you are doing. Emerging at the top is not easy. It requires a lot of hard work and commitment which at times goes way beyond the normal classroom time. I assure you your efforts are not in vain.
To all of you, I wish to assure you of the Commission’s commitment to deliver consistent quality service to all our customers. With those few remarks, I wish you well as you go back to your duty stations and may God bless you abundantly.
Thank You

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