Education Taskforce Recommends Curling of TSC’s Powers
The Education Taskforce has recommended a review of the Teachers Service Commission’s powers and supported the merger of institutions of higher learning and the strengthening of middle-level colleges.
It has been revealed that curling the Commission’s powers is among the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform’s (PWPER) recommendations in its second interim report.
As a result, the president is set to be served with recommendations on curling TSC’s powers and on middle-level colleges and universities.
On Monday, the Cabinet Secretary for Education Ezekiel Machogu and the top brass of the ministry held a meeting with the PWPER at the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA).
According to reports, the meeting deliberated on checking TSC’s powers to ensure that its mandate is restricted to only the recruitment and promotion of teachers.
The entry grade to joining teachers’ training colleges could be reviewed in order to accommodate more students following revelations that the strict admission rules have locked out more students denying them important opportunities.
Merging of universities and establishment of centres of excellence and strengthening of middle-level training institutions was also supported with this recommended to be done in every county.
“The issue of pending debts was a major debate and it emerged that once this is sorted out the institutions of higher learning would be back on their feet.
“It actually emerged that there is a need to set up more technical training institutions and not expand existing universities.
The issue of merging universities was ratified but most importantly, creation of centres of excellence where specific universities are known for various products because one university cannot replicate itself over and over,” said one of our sources.
However, changes to the powers of the constitution could require a referendum since TSC is a constitutional commission.
TSC is established under Article 237 (1) of the Constitution as a constitutional Commission with its primary functions being to register and employ registered teachers.
TSC is also mandated to assign teachers for service in any public school or institution, promote, transfer teachers, discipline and terminate their employment.
The constitutional role effectively allows the Commission exclusive mandate over teachers with little or no interference from the Ministry.
In 2022, a report of the National Assembly Education Committee was tabled in Parliament on the 3rd of March and recommended the enactment of a new law and proposed modification of Article 237 of the Constitution and the TSC Act to solve the issue of the Commission being both a regulator and an employer.
In the report, it was revealed that the Commission holds the constitutional and statutory mandate of the employer and regulator with powers conferred by Article 237 of the Constitution and the TSC Act.
“This is a need to establish a separate regulatory agency to remedy the conflict of interest,” read part of the MPs report.
The report had been tabled after Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba had tabled a petition in Parliament on the 5th of October 2021 on behalf of the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers.