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TSC Begins Biometric Registration In 143 Schools, Reveals Requirements For Teachers

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has today on the 17th of May 2021 begun the process of biometric enrolment and validation of teachers in 143 schools that they selected. The process will be done in a transparent manner.

The exercise of enrolment is going to be done during the normal working hours of between 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, which is within the official working hours.

According to TSC, the biometric registration will go a long way in assisting the Commission to verify the distribution of teachers and their utilization in schools, validate the enrolment in public schools, establish areas of teaching specialization and authenticate teachers’ biodata alongside their employment records.

Besides, TSC listed requirements for teachers during the exercise that begins today till the 21st of May 2021.

Teachers are required to physically provide the documents below during the exercise.

  1. National Identification Card
  2. Certificate of registration
  3. Academic certificates
  4. Letter of the first appointment
  5. Letter of the last appointment

However, this is a piloting exercise for the program that is planned to be launched countrywide after bottlenecks that may arise are solved.

The process was set to be piloted in May last year but plans were shelved because of the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

For the piloting exercise, seven counties were identified. The exercise begins today with the national rollout tentatively scheduled for the months of August/September.

The counties are Homa Bay, Bungoma, Nyeri, Kitui, Kilifi, Uasin Gishu, and Garissa.

The counties were chosen because of the current rural and urban setups which will be given reliable lessons for the national rollout.

The schools chosen represent different geographical and socio-cultural backgrounds.

“The biometric registration shall entail validation of data of teachers in all public primary and secondary schools, Teacher Training Colleges, Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) and the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE),” read the concept briefly.

Just 143 selected schools are going to take part in his piloting stage. The institutions include secondary, primary, and teachers training colleges.

TSC CEO Nancy Macharia revealed that biometric registration will boost the efforts of dealing with the issue of cheating on examinations.

The biometrics exercise will involve enlisting fingerprints which will pave the way for forensic and intelligence-led investigations in cases where examination papers are tampered with and where mobile phones and other devices used in committing examination malpractices.

“TSC takes the automation a notch higher by launching the biometric enrolment system to ease teacher identification and curb examination malpractices,” TSC said via their Facebook page.

With the use of biometric validation, innocent teachers blamed for offenses they did not commit can be vindicated.

According to TSC CEO Dr. Nancy Macharia, teachers took examination papers using their mobile phones.

“We are at the tail-end of finalizing our consultations with the office of the Data Commissioner on the rollout of the biometric capture of all teachers.

“In the future, all teachers joining the TSC will undergo the biometric enrolment before they enter our payroll,” said Dr. Nancy Macharia.

Data for teachers in special programs and for the curriculum support officers in all zones will be captured.

The Commission will update the existing information on teachers’ biodata and then validate the staff requirement in all public schools and teacher training colleges by learner enrolment and size.

“The exercise will also reveal teacher distribution based on subject combinations and will unearth staffing gaps that will inform training needs for various subject areas,” read the Commission’s brief.

The importance of the exercise is that data captured will reveal how teachers are spread through the country, and this development will inform rationalization of the current teaching staff.

“We shall ensure optimal utilization of teachers and also balance areas that we shall feel are not well covered,” said TSC Director of Administrative Services Ibrahim Mumin during last year’s stakeholders’ meeting.

Some teachers might be transferred to achiever balanced staffing as electronic registration will reveal any imbalance in deployment.

The exercise will show any teachers who could miss classes for reasons that are unapproved as the Commission launches a drive to hold its staff accountable through biometrics that will give up-to-date attendance data.

During the stakeholders’ meeting, TSC’s plan to receive real-time clock-in data of teachers who attend classes and absentee ones tracked and monitored through electronic devices that shall be installed in schools across the country.

The Commission will also have data for all aging staff. This shall help the Commission to effectively plan for their exit.

This also means that teachers who faked their retirement age or for those who may want to stay longer will be known.

Training of the committees, coordinators, supervisors, and enumerators on the biometric registration exercise had been done in April last year.

At the moment, the configuration of the tool kits for the exercise is already completed and the registration user-training manual also produced.

Stakeholders’ conference for public participation was conducted in March last year and in attendance were the teachers’ unions and associations, religious organizations, development partners, officials of the Lenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), and persons with disabilities.

Besides, among the attendees were officials from the National Treasury, the Council of Governors, and the Public Service Commission.

“We support this exercise fully and want it concluded well because it shall help TSC to plan better,” said KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion at the workshop held at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).

Ghost staff shall who have been drawing salaries from the TSC payroll for years will also be revealed via the biometrics exercise.

The persistent claim of thousands of teachers who have irregularly withdrawn salaries from the TSC payroll over the years will also be dealt with.

According to a report from Efficiency Monitoring Unit in the year 2009, a number of conflicting teachers’ documents were found.

Analysis done on the documents submitted to the unit revealed that more than 20,000 teachers could not be accounted for.

At the time, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) had 227,581 teachers on their payroll against the 207,554 teachers that the provincial heads submitted.

A study on the declining compliance with the declaration of wealth by Public officers was also to be conducted.

The closes TSC came to getting rid of the ghost teachers was in the year 2015 when TSC contracted an insurance company to administer a medical scheme.

The company launched biometric enrolment, whereby teachers input their TSC numbers, national identity cards, and mobile numbers.

The plan was to cross-check the data against the Commission’s data, the data of the Communications Authority of Kenya, and the National Registrar of Persons’ databases to allow for matching across the three institutions.

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