Sossion Wants TSC’s Powers Clipped and the Commission Split into Two
Former Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion has called for the Education Reforms Task Force to review the Constitution and the enabling Acts that establish the Teachers Service Commission.
According to the former KNUT Sec-Gen, Kenyans should rethink education in order to persuade the national government to provide equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.
The Education Reforms Task Force is currently working on a mandate that includes studying all laws governing the basic education sector as well as coming up with recommendations for legislation review in order to address any concerns with the new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
Wilson Sossion said that attention should be placed on Article 53(1)(b) of the Constitution which stipulates that every child has the right to free and compulsory education.
He also called for an emphasis on Article 55(a), which states that the government shall take measures including affirmative action programs to ensure that youths are able to access relevant education and training.
To achieve this, Sossion said that the task force must reevaluate and redefine the Teachers Service Commission Acr (2012) and the Basic Education Act (2013), as well as make appropriate changes to the laws governing education.
Further, Sossion wants the teachers’ employer to be divided into two bodies. The first one should serve as a teacher’s employer and the other to serve as the teachers’ regulator.
“The task force should specifically relook at the TSC Act which allows the Commission to perform the duties of both a regulator and employer,” said Sossion.
In Sossion’s view, the regulator should be called the Teaching Council of Kenya which will have the mandate of teacher registration, developing and revising teachers’ Code of Conduct and Regulations for Teachers, disciplining errant teachers, regulating the professional conduct of teachers and promoting, protecting and advancing the general interests of teachers.
The functions of this body will include collaborating with teachers’ unions to set teachers’ terms and conditions of service, investigating allegations of professional misconduct and imposing appropriate sanctions, and advising the government on matters regarding the teaching profession.
Sossion was deregistered in 2021 by the Teachers Service Commission following a prolonged battle between him and the teachers’ employer over disagreements with the policies put forward by the Commission.
“It should also facilitate career progression and professional development for teachers and more importantly, monitor quality control and assurance of education facilities and services,” he adds.
According to Sossion, the Council should be made up of part-time members appointed by the Secretary of State for Education following a thorough vetting process.
He also suggests that other representatives from the Ministry of Education, public higher education institutions, private higher education institutions, public and private education institutions and TSC should also be involved.
In his view, TSC’s mandate should only be limited to employing and managing teachers to formulate policies to achieve its mandate, recruiting and employing registered teachers; assigning teachers employed by the Commission, promoting and transferring teachers; terminating employment; reviewing teacher demand and supply and manage teacher’s payroll.
The former KNUT chief said that TSC does not give the Commission the authority to regulate teachers or the function of quality assurance and standards. Rather, it is the Ministry of Education that is in charge of training and capacity building which includes Teacher Professional Development (TPD).
Sossion revealed that the independence of the Commission has been repeatedly abused and is based on Chapter 15 of the Kenyan constitution.