The National Treasury has taken a significant step towards uplifting the teaching profession by allocating a substantial sum of Sh1 billion to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for teacher promotions.
The decision aims to motivate teachers to deliver high-quality education and ensure their professional growth.
The announcement was made by Julius Melly, Chairman of the Education Parliamentary Committee, during his speech at the esteemed 46th Kenya Secondary School Heads Association Conference held at Sheikh Zayed Hall in Mombasa.
Melly emphasized the critical role of motivated teachers in the success of any educational institution.
He acknowledged the challenges faced by stagnated teachers and emphasized the importance of appreciating their contributions.
In response, the Education Parliamentary Committee has designated a significant amount of Sh1 billion specifically for teacher promotions.
"The allocation of Sh1 billion for teacher promotion is a testament to our commitment to address stagnation issues and ensure the professional growth of teachers," stated Melly.
According to Melly, the funds will be strategically reinvested to facilitate the smooth movement of teachers from lower job groups, such as D3, to higher ones, like D4.
This move aims to prevent teachers from remaining in one position for an extended period, which can lead to demoralization and hinder their effectiveness.
Melly further addressed the long-standing problem of skewed promotions within the teaching profession. He assured that the committee would address this issue in the upcoming stages to rectify any imbalance.
He said the aim is to create opportunities for those who have remained in lower job groups for an extended period and grant well-deserved promotions to teachers.
"Our goal is to eliminate the discouraging trend of teachers stagnating for 10 to 15 years in one job group. Such practices are demoralizing and undermine the spirit of professional growth," Melly firmly expressed.
The Education Parliamentary Committee has also actively discouraged the prevalent practice of acting promotions, which provide temporary roles instead of permanent growth opportunities for teachers.
Melly elaborated on the committee's stance, stating, "We want to ensure that when a teacher assumes the role of a principal, they are provided with the necessary documents and can fully take charge of the school.
Subsequently, they should have the opportunity to progress in their careers.
Melly shared that the committee has set specific timelines for the TSC to prevent principals, deputy principals, and senior teachers from occupying acting positions for an extended period, as it hampers their career advancement.
"As a committee, we gave the TSC timelines. We do not want to see principals, deputies or senior teachers acting for a very long time. We are discouraging that as a member of the committee education," Melly said.
The recent allocation of funds to support teacher promotions comes in response to concerns raised by Kahi Indimuli, Chairman of the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA).
Indimuli highlighted the issue of delayed promotions, whereby teachers remain in their positions for over a year without any progress.
Additionally, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the common practice of demoting deputy principals after they have served as acting principals, rather than promoting them to principal positions.
Indimuli described this situation as "demoralizing and diminishing" for deputy principals.
The Education Parliamentary Committee shares Indimuli's concerns and aims to rectify this practice through the allocation of funds and the implementation of more equitable promotion processes.
By addressing issues of stagnation and discouraging acting promotions, the government aims to foster an environment that supports teachers' professional growth, ultimately benefiting the quality of education in Kenya.