5 May 2007

Kenya: More Than 12,000 Teachers Set to Get Senior Positions

Nairobi — More than 12,000 secondary and primary school teachers are to be given new and better paying positions this year.

Teachers Service Commission headquarters in Nairobi. The Interviews method is being used to professionalise promotions. Photo/FILE

The new plan will also see senior graduate teachers being posted to head primary schools that have between three and four streams.

The Saturday Nation has learnt that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has promoted 3,665 teachers to senior positions of job group N from job group M.

They were given the jobs after the commission advertised for 4,685 vacancies on job group N. Of the applicants, 4,349 were shortlisted before being given the jobs.

But five of them were denied the jobs despite passing the merit interviews at the TSC due to "adverse" reports in their personal files.

That means that there are still 1,020 vacancies at job group N that are still up for grabs, according to TSC boss Gabriel Lengoiboni.

Normally, teachers on that grade are principals of schools and deputies.

Yesterday, Mr Lengoiboni advertised for a further 8,000 senior jobs for teachers in both primary and secondary schools on job group M.

Of these, 6,500 will be appointed as senior graduate teachers or approved teachers to be posted to secondary schools.

The planned promotions, from job group L to M, will see teachers get pay increases of between Sh4,255 and Sh5,515 based on new pay details released by Mr Lengoiboni last week.

The rest will take up jobs, also as senior graduate or approved teachers, and be deployed in primary schools, also on job group M.

Applications forms

The TSC chief asked those interested to get applications forms from the TSC headquarters in Nairobi or from the offices of provincial directors of education. They are to apply by May 31.

The interviews method is a move by the commission to professionalise promotions, which a few years ago were being conducted haphazardly.

Mr Lengoiboni said in an interview with the Saturday Nation yesterday that the era when teachers moved from one grade to another without being subjected to thorough interviews by TSC was over.

"We are determined to ensure that meritocracy is used in awarding promotions. We will always make the appointments competitive and through advertisements," he said.

The exercise of promotions was one of those cited as hotbeds of corruption in the past at TSC before the interview method was put in place.

Mr Lengoiboni said those seeking jobs as senior graduate or approved teachers should be professionally qualified graduates who had satisfactorily served for a minimum of three years at the graduate teacher 1 level.

Non-graduate teachers applying for the jobs must be in possession of a diploma certificate in education, said Mr Lengoiboni.

They would also need to be conversant with TSC code of regulations, code of conduct and have general understanding of administrative duties.

"Successful candidates (of senior graduate or approved teacher) will be deployed as headteachers in district schools, deputy head teachers in provincial and district schools and heads of department in secondary schools," Mr Lengoiboni said.

New requirements

But the 2,000 senior graduate and approved teachers for primary schools will only be posted as either heads or deputies of three and four streamed primary schools.

They are also required to have served satisfactorily as graduate teachers in job group L for not less than three years.

The new promotion plan is a further boost for the teachers who now expect to pocket more emoluments.

Only last week, Mr Lengoiboni released details of teachers' new salaries, which will see them receive increments that would complete the 1997 pay deal.

With the promotions to job group M, the new beneficiaries will now be earning between Sh24,650 and Sh33,010 in July, up from the current Sh20,395 and Sh27,495.

Before the new salaries came in force as contained in the new pay details, this category of teachers had been receiving between Sh18,515 and Sh25,6154.

Salary structures

According to the new salary structures revealed in the Saturday Nation last week, teachers are to get a salary increase of up to 25 per cent in the next two months.

The increment - the first of which will be reflected on their pay slip this month - will see the 235,000 primary, secondary and teacher trainee tutors get a pay boost of between 2,045 for the lowest paid teacher to Sh4,445 per month for the highest paid.

Besides, the teachers' travel and responsibility allowances have been increased by more than 50 per cent.

The increments were backdated to July last year.

That means the teachers will now be paid the increase margin in arrears of 10 months that would see the least paid teacher going home with Sh7,600 while the highest will get Sh15,650.

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