TSC should relinquish CSOs to Ministry of Education to effectively implement Curricula

Students of Oruba Boys Secondary School in Migori County.

Curriculum support Officers (CSOs) play a pivotal role in curriculum implementation in our Schools. Before the enactment of TSC Act 2012, these officers were under Ministry of Education (MoE). They were later transferred to TSC to offer quality assurance services. Quality assurance has been a bone of contention between TSC and MoE. Both the education docket and teachers’ employer have been having Directorates of quality assurance.

This has seen an overlap of responsibility between the two bodies. Recently, TSC seem to have given up and rename its Directorate as Teacher Professional Development. It remains to be seen whether CSOs roles will be changed since the directorate they were under was changed.

There has been a clarion call by the stakeholders as contained in the Presidential Working Report on Education and Reforms (PWPR) to stem out overlap. CSOs should be moved to the MoE. It remains to be seen and known if this will happen since both TSC and MoE have developed amendment bills to their 2012 and 2013 Acts. As it stands, CSOs undergo a myriad of challenges in execution of their duties while under TSC.

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Most of them feel short-changed in their 2019 Career Progression Guideline(CPG).To them, the CPG has not been fully implemented as the employer has been coming up with confusing changes that has seen a handful at the same time aged CSOs being promoted to Principal Teacher Management Officers (PTMOs).

Last year, 94 out of almost 1500 CSOs were promoted to PTMOs positions and a handful to grade D1. A spot check on those promoted revealed a laughable scenario. Most of the promoted are retiring this year (2024) or are to retire in one or two years’ time. This seems to suggest that TSC is not interested with officers who are experienced in the commission.

Secondly, all CSOs are not facilitated in their duties as field officers. Their visits to schools to monitor learning are at the mercies of the head teachers. It is the head teachers who are to facilitate their movements from one school to another.

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This will not only compromise their objectivity but will also kill their work morale. Not everyone has the stamina and audacity to always ask and beg for facilitation. The worst hits are the CSOs overseeing Special Needs Education who are incharge of the whole sub-county on matters special needs education.

A spot check on the sub-counties reveals that 90 per cent have no travel arrangements. Is TSC with the capacity to house these officers with all the challenges they are faced with?

It is time TSC eats a humble pie and surrender CSOs to ministry of education which seems to have the right infrastructure from the past experience (Before 2012).

By Joseph Kiptoo

The writer is a PHD student studying Educational Policy at Witwatersrand University.

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Education News - Newspaper Vol 281