Areas with Mass Teacher Transfer Requests
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has released data that has revealed areas with mass teacher transfer requests.
Nairobi City County is the region that is most preferred when teachers are seeking transfers after the government’s move to implement the delocalization policy.
Across the country, 36,277 teachers applied to be transferred between the 1st of November 2022 and the 31st of January 2023. This was revealed by the data that the Commission submitted before the Senate Committee on Education.
Out of the 36,277 applications for transfer, 14,733 of them were matched and approved while 21,544 transfer applications are still pending.
In that period, 1,885 teachers applied to be transferred to Nairobi City County while a meagre 76 applied to be transferred out of the County.
However, it is only 41 of the transfer requests out of the total 1,116 applications to primary schools and just four to secondary schools out of the total 723 that have since been approved by the end of the month of January.
In the same period, 45 primary school teachers and one secondary school teacher left the County.
The highest number of teachers who applied to be transferred are 1,336 teachers who applied to be transferred to Bungoma County with 1,074 teachers applying to be transferred out of the county.
The abolition of the delocalization policy is enshrined in the non-monetary Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) teachers’ unions that were signed by the Commission and the main teacher’s unions.
The delocalization policy was also a sticking point with the Kenya Kwanza Alliance administration, now in power, promising to bring an end to it.
Transferring teachers who were considered to have “overstayed” at the same workstation began in 2018 and saw thousands of teachers being transferred. This attracted condemnation from teachers’ unions who claimed that the policy had disrupted the lives of many teachers.
Kajiado County was among the most preferred counties after receiving 237 transfer requests for teachers in secondary schools against 94 who had requested to be transferred out of the county.
In the same county, 486 teachers applied to work in the county against 434 who had asked to be moved to other regions.
“The transfer of teachers from one institution to another is based on the need for equitable distribution and optimal utilization of teachers, availability of vacancies in the station, the need for replacement, existing staffing norms and medical grounds certified by a registered medical practitioner,” read part of the document signed by the current director for legal, labour and industrial relations Mr Cavin Anyuor on behalf of the Teachers Service Commission Chief Executive Officer Dr Nancy Macharia.
The document was in response to Embu Senator Alexander Mundigi’s inquisition regarding the breakdown of the transfer of teachers in and out of Embu County.
In addition, TSC data revealed that 1,157 teachers had applied to be deployed in Embu County while 357 teachers had applied for deployment to work in other areas.
229 teachers had already been moved out of the county and 244 transferred in. There are still other transfer requests that are still pending.
“This way, the commission is able to ensure equitable distribution of teachers across the country for the benefit of all learners,” she said.
Counties categorized as “hard-to-staff” were hit by massive requests to leave while only a few teachers applied to be transferred into the counties.
94 secondary school teachers and 246 primary school teachers applied to leave the county with only nine (secondary) and 134 (primary) applying to be deployed in the county.
Turkana County had 129 secondary school teachers who requested to be transferred away while 23 applied to be moved to the county. 37 teachers had since left the county and the same number of teachers transferred in.
Mombasa County was a preferred region among secondary school teachers with 340 applying to be moved there against the 55 who applied to be transferred out.
“Not all teachers apply to be transferred to their home counties. Some transfer requests are for transfers other than home Counties. As an employer, the commission cannot dictate to a teacher to apply to be transferred to a particular county. Similarly, the commission cannot decline a transferred request simply because a teacher has not applied to be taken to his home county,” read part of the document.
However, in response to the questions raised by Senator Mundigi, Dr Nancy Macharia warned against misinterpretation of the reversal of the delocalization policy to mean that teachers must not only teach in their home counties but also in their villages.
The TSC CEO added that counties that had not produced enough teachers would end up being grossly understaffed while those that have excess teachers would be overstaffed leading to a wastage of resources. This means that Arid and Semi-Arid areas (ASAL) and hard-to-staff areas would be the most likely victims.