A marking scheme used during the current promotions interviews by the Teachers Service Commission, TSC, has been criticized for being unfair to teachers from ‘small’ schools. The marking scheme at our disposal seems to be favoring teachers from ‘big’ schools that are known for producing better results at the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations.
For instance, if your mean has been low in the last three years then you will score poorly during the interviews. The maximum mark for a teacher with a mean of 11 (A- minus) and above has been set at 20. Whereas a teacher with a mean of below 2 (D- minus) will be awarded one mark only.
Another scoring area is the improvement index; with teachers who have recorded a positive improvement of 2 and above garnering 20 marks.
The Commission is currently carrying out interview sessions for the about 33,000 shortlisted teachers.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, Kuppet, has come out to castigate TSC for sidelining some administrators in the ongoing promotions.
“We also draw your attention to the apparent discriminative procedures the Commission
has instituted against some principals, deputy principals and senior masters who merit on
the basis of their qualifications. Initially, we received complaints from members who
faced difficulties applying for the promotions via the TSC portal. We brought the matter
to the attention of your officers, who attributed it to a system glitch.” Says Kuppet Secretary General Akelo Misori.
In a protest letter sent to TSC, Akelo says many administrators currently serving in sub-county schools were blocked from applying for promotion to head extra-county and national schools. Those who managed to apply have not been short-listed for interviews.
In addition, the Career Progression Guidelines, CPG, being used for the interviews have placed substantial weight on the status of schools where the applicants serve. It is obvious that county and sub-county schools cannot compete fairly with the well-established ones.
A glaring difference between the two categories of schools is in the entry qualifications for their Form One intakes. However, the vast majority of Kenyan students and teachers
(including principals) are based in these county and sub-county schools.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers, Knut, has been opposing the CPG and has engaged the Commission in court battles.
Also given a raw deal are teachers with higher qualifications as their papers have been rendered useless.
“Unless this system is changed, many qualified teachers-including those with post-graduate qualifications might not get their deserved promotion. This policy will also balkanize Kenya, given the inequalities in economic development across the country.” Misori adds.
Equally affected are teachers serving in Teachers Training Colleges (TTCs) have been systematically sidelined from these promotions. This is because the Scoring in heavily weighted on the applicant’s marks under the Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development, TPAD, appraisal tool.