TSC to change to a Ministry, Teachers express mixed reaction. Deputy President William Ruto has initiated a strategic overhaul of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), transforming it into a dedicated department within the Ministry of Education. This pivotal change, revealed on August 1, 2023, marks a significant shift in the education landscape as TSC’s functions find a new home under the Ministry’s purview.
Under the transformative vision outlined in the report by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER), President Ruto unveiled sweeping changes that will redefine the roles and responsibilities of TSC. This reform, slated for gradual implementation within a twelve-month timeline, entails a reimagining of TSC’s relationship with the Ministry of Education.
Key Highlights of the Reform:
- Educational Regulation Advancement
In a strategic move to enhance educational standards, the Taskforce has proposed the establishment of the Kenya Professional Teaching Standards (KePTS) as a dedicated regulatory body. This shift effectively streamlines TSC’s dual role as both employer and regulator.
- Streamlined Quality Assurance
Recognizing a redundancy in quality assurance functions between TSC and the Ministry of Education, the reform recommends an alignment of responsibilities. TSC’s quality assurance mandates, including positions such as Curriculum Support Officers (CSO), will transition to the Ministry, fostering a unified approach.
- Empowering School Leadership Accountability
The dynamic of school leadership is set to evolve, with TSC’s focus shifting from direct oversight to recruitment and deployment. This model, inspired by the Public Service Commission framework, positions school heads as Ministry agents, thereby enhancing their accountability to the Ministry.
- Enhanced Curriculum and Teacher Training
The Ministry is poised to take a more integral role in curriculum implementation and teacher training, assuming responsibilities previously held by TSC. The adjustment encompasses the competency-based curriculum (CBC) retraining and the administration of teacher allowances.
- Collaborative Teacher Transfers
A collaborative approach to teacher transfers is envisaged, requiring TSC’s coordination with the Ministry of Education. This cooperative decision-making process aims to optimize teacher deployment and transfers for a more efficient education system.
- Efficient Disciplinary Framework
Discipline-related matters and appeals, currently overseen by TSC, are set to undergo transformation. An Education Appeals Tribunal will assume jurisdiction, granting members the avenue to challenge TSC decisions through an established appeal process.
- Inclusive Teacher Promotions
The reform underscores the importance of collaboration between TSC and the Ministry in matters of teacher promotions, ensuring a holistic and synchronized approach to career advancement.
- Elevated Health Insurance Review
A comprehensive review of the teachers’ health insurance scheme is on the horizon, with both TSC and the Ministry collaborating to enhance the benefits and coverage offered.
- Transparency and Data Management
Efforts to improve transparency are evident in the proposed deletion of Section 42 (5) of the TSC Act. Additionally, TSC’s registration as a data controller under the Data Protection Act will bolster data management practices.
- Reimagined Commission Affairs
A shift in the quorum requirement for commission meetings emphasizes a commitment to robust decision-making and governance.
As this visionary transformation takes shape, educators and stakeholders alike are poised for a new era in Kenyan education. With Deputy President Ruto’s leadership, the integration of TSC into the Ministry of Education promises a streamlined, collaborative, and impactful educational landscape that prioritizes both quality and efficiency. The journey ahead holds immense promise, empowering educators and students alike to thrive in a revitalized education ecosystem.