The Teachers Service Commission has started the process of transferring thousands of public primary school heads.
An internal memo seen by The Standard instructs county directors of education to submit all school head data by Friday this week.
TSC further said all senior positions in schools, including senior teachers, deputies, and heads, would be filled competitively. “Please capture details of heads, deputy heads, senior teachers, and special needs teachers on separate sheets. Do expedite to fast-track delocalisation,” reads the memo dated February 8.
There has been an outcry over inadequate utilisation of teachers, with some education stakeholders calling for better distribution of teachers across schools. President Uhuru Kenyatta last year directed stricter reallocation and movement of the existing staff to ensure equitable distribution across the regions.
“I direct the TSC to rationalise teacher distribution in all counties so as to avail teachers to those currently disadvantaged,” he said
Special needs education teachers are also targeted, according to the memo titled ‘Delocalisation of Primary School Heads and Special Schools’. There are 5,500 teachers in special needs schools across the country. Among these are 500 heads.
“Further to our memo dated December 7, 2017, additional data is required for all primary school head teachers in your county, including those in special schools. Ensure you have a running list of the whole county,” reads the memo.
CODE OF REGULATIONS
The Standard has established that 10,000 teachers are targeted in the first transfer window scheduled to take place this term.
TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia recently said the transfers were in line with the provisions of the Code of Regulations for Teachers and collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) signed between TSC and teachers’ unions. She cited Regulation 70(8) of the Code of Regulations for Teachers, which states: “In undertaking deployment, the commission shall endeavour to delocalise the administration of public institutions
“The Code of Regulations and Code of Conduct and Ethics for Teachers shall form an integral part of this agreement (CBA)” adds Clause 4 of the CBAs. What is, however, likely to send cold shivers down the spines of the school heads is the data requirement by TSC of KCPE examination performance for the past three years. The document instructs county directors to capture the KCPE mean score posted by each school between 2015 and 2017.
This comes just days after Ms Macharia warned that school heads who failed to meet the performance appraisal targets would be disciplined. “We cannot continue recycling head teachers whose schools do not perform. Going forward, we will compel such school heads to exit the service,” Macharia said.
She made the remarks on the sidelines of a National Dialogue on Education and Learning Outcome meeting held in Nairobi recently. She said to enhance teaching and learning in all public schools, TSC would not tolerate poor performance by its employees. This means that school heads whose institutions have posted declining results for the past three years may be dropped.
TSC is implementing a circular that requires secondary school heads who post a mean score of less than three to be dropped and taken back to class to teach. There are 8,000 public secondary school heads.
Some 557 secondary school principals and deputies were moved effective January 1, this year, in line with the TSC policy.
The transfer also means that heads suspected of misusing institution resources will now be investigated. Macharia said the commission had learnt that some heads collude with school board members to engage in financial malpractices.
The latest move by TSC is likely to elicit protests from teachers’ unions. In a letter to Macharia in the aftermath of the secondary school heads transfers, Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion called for a repeal of the policy on delocalisation.
He said the transfer of more than 500 principals and headteachers of secondary schools would affect teaching.
“The morale of teachers is very low across the country following the unprecedented transfers, more so the transfers have destabilised teacher/learning in the affected schools,” Sossion said in the letter dated January 15, 2018
He added: “Mass transfers are ill-advised and in contravention of international norms. Teacher transfer/deployment should be done within the confines of internationally accepted statutes and in full consultation with stakeholders.”