Teachers’ Unions Call for Review of Career Progression Guidelines
Teachers’ unions have united in the call for a review of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Career Progression Guidelines (CPG).
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General Collins Oyuu has said that the CPG has caused a lot of stagnation among teachers and that while they renegotiate the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), they have to address the issue of the CPG.
“The path to promotion was automatic when we had the plan of service. Yet, the CPG has resulted in teacher stagnation. If you are not an administrator, deputy head, or head teacher, your salary increase will be minimal,” he said.
Further, Oyuu said that the 2017 – 2021 CBA was actually formed through job evaluations from the Salary and Remuneration Commission (SRC), where head teachers and Deputy’s head teachers were considered to be carrying heavy responsibilities, therefore their pay was raised while classroom teachers were given a raw deal.
On his part, KNUT Deputy Secretary General Hesbon Otieno said that the current COG has its shortfalls because it was designed outside the 2017 – 2021 CBA.
Otieno said that the design of the CPG benefits only a few cadres of teachers with most of them being in administrative positions.
“We may not return to the Scheme of Service, but we can reform the CPG so that it is in line with all areas of teacher advancement and progress,” said Otieno.
On the other hand, the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Busia Executive Secretary Moffats Okisai, said that the CPG had done more harm than good in the teaching profession by causing stagnation of teachers in job groups.
“If the status quo would be maintained, it will take forty years of service for a classroom teacher to advance to the position of Chief Principal. This means that everyone will have left service before reaching the top,” said Okisai. He also added that the CPG should be reconsidered evaluated and changed.
He said that the calibration of job group cadres is a policy that has discouraged and crushed the working spirit among teachers.
“Imagine having to advance from Senior Teacher I, II and III to Deputy Principal I, II and III and from Principal, Senior Principal to Chief Principal. You can’t pretend to act in a specific administrative capacity and expect to be confirmed automatically,” he added.
Okisai also urged for TSC quarterly to help establish a data bank of school administrators and ensure teachers of their progress and that higher qualifications should be given more value.
“Previously, teachers progressed from assistant teachers to department heads to deputy principals to principals. Also, certain job groups were regarded as common cadres. The initiative for quick outcomes was also well received. For every three years of service in a certain work group, a teacher’s promotion was guaranteed. This was a better arrangement than the new one, which was hampered by confusion,” he said.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Circular 7/2018 on May 2018, when they introduced the CPG for the teaching service which was effected on the 8th of November, 2017.
The CPG replaced the Schemes of Service for non-graduate and graduate teachers as well as technical teachers and lecturers.
At the moment, the CPG applied to teachers working in public institutions such as primary and secondary schools, Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs), the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), the Centre for Mathematics Science, and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA), and primary and secondary Special Needs Schools (SNEs).
The CPG introduced a new grading framework for the teaching service, extending job scales from ten to eleven grades based on the relative value of each position.
In primary schools, the CPG classifies teachers into the following 8 job grades.
- Primary teacher I
- Primary teacher II
- Senior Teacher I
- Senior Teacher II
- Deputy Head Teacher I
- Deputy Head Teacher II
- Senior Head Teacher
In secondary schools teachers are classified into 10 job grades:
- Secondary Teacher I
- Secondary Teacher II
- Secondary Teacher III
- Senior Master I
- Senior Master II
- Senior Master III
- Senior Master IV
- Senior Principal
- Chief Principal
A teacher has to serve for at least three years in each job grade before they get promoted to the next one. Promotion is also pegged on the availability of vacancies in the approved establishment, minimum qualifications per grade, relevant Teacher Professional Development (TPD) modules, relevant experience and satisfactory performance in teaching.