TSC plan to demote non-graduate teachers should be approached with caution to avoid chaos

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The plan by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to demote non-graduate teachers should be done with utmost care and decorum as it can create confusion and chaos in education sector especially learning institutions.

The Teachers Service Commission has started a data collection operation to determine the absolute number of primary school headteachers and deputies with and without qualifications.

According to the Presidential Working Party On Education Reforms, its proposals have to be implemented without alterations.
The current Early Childhood Education, Primary school and Junior high School have to be amalgamated each section having an administrator who should be a degree holder who will be called deputy principal all of who will be subordinate to the principal.

In February, this year, there was the inception of Junior High School which was administered by an interim board of directors and a temporary principal whose tenure is ending in December 2023.

Succinctly, this means that a good number of Headteachers and Deputies will not meet the basic threshold of administration.

The hegemony of the school will instantly shift to new appointees who will take over from the defunct administrators.

Currently, there are over 23,000 public primary schools in the republic of Kenya, that therefore means all these schools require over 92,000 administrators all the way, from the Principal, deputy principals and senior teachers.

It’s unfortunate to learn that headteachers, deputies, and senior teachers who do not meet the requirements will be given lesser roles and even lose control over finances as well as major operations in the instructions.

The current Board Of Management which consists of 12 members, will be scaled down either.

The Board Of Management consists of six members elected by parents in the school, one person nominated by the Count Education Board, one representative of the teaching staff elected by teachers, three representatives of the sponsor and one person representing special interest groups.

Additionally, they should have a minimum of a Form Four certificate. According to the Presidential Working Party On Education Reforms, the current Board Of Management is bloated and needs to be scaled down to a maximum of nine.

Even as the Government struggles to adapt to the Presidential Working Party On Education deliberations, salient questions linger in the minds of all Kenyans.

How can such administrators take up lesser roles in the same schools which they used to domineer over?

All erstwhile administrators might turn out to be laughingstocks in the schools. How do they Co-Exist with other teachers in the staff rooms leaving the magnificent offices and privileges they were used to?

Something else is their perception of the new system of administration.

Institutions can turn out to be platforms of witch-hunt, mistrust and insubordination.

The Government needs to tread carefully on this matter to ensure that there is tranquillity in all spheres of its implementation.

There should be formal communication informing the employee about the demotion from the current position.

Demoted administrators will need to listen carefully to the employer and his agents and revisit their employment contracts with the Teachers Service Commission.

Additionally, they will need to ask questions about their new roles to determine whether or not they accept or decline the offer.

It’s finally necessary for the Teachers Service Commission to transfer the demoted headteachers and other administrators to other schools to avoid making them figures of fun.

Khamati is an experienced educationist based in Western Kenya

By Hillary Khamati

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