TSC Revises Transfer Rules That Could Put Smiles on Teachers’ Faces
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) seems to have reviewed rules that apply to teachers’ transfers with the current ongoing transfer exercise intended to ensure the balancing of teaching staff in schools across the country.
In a Circular dated the 4th of April, 2022 the Commission is now set to allow teachers who have served for a period of at least three (3) years since their first appointment to be eligible for transfers.
However, in the Circular sent to TSC field officers, exceptions will be made for teachers in the North-Eastern region who will be required to have served for five (5) years since the date of their first appointment.
“The teacher must have served in a station for a period of not less than three (3) years and five (5) years for North Eastern and other areas respectively since their first appointment; unless otherwise authorized by the Commission’s Secretary,” read part of the Circular.
Previously teachers were required to have served for a period of at least five years in their current stations before being eligible for transfer.
The transfer policy dubbed the ‘delocalization policy’, was established in January 2018, and made teachers work outside their home counties with massive transfers set to be affected in the months of April and August of the same year.
In the current transfer exercise, TSC is set to consider family matters and transfer couples who have formally declared their marital status in the same area or county if it is possible.
In previous times, the transfer policy did not consider family matters with married teachers being transferred to far-flung stations making family life very difficult and family reunions only possible during the holidays.
The new 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that was signed on July 13, 2021, gave teachers hope that there is a chance to be reunited with their families while working with the Commission has done a review that considered married couples.
“The Commission shall consider transfer requests for married couples to appropriate stations or locations,” read part of the CBA.
This simply meant that teachers could be transferred to schools near their partners, where possible, depending on the availability of vacancies in the proposed station(s). the need for a suitable replacement, the need for equitable distribution and optimal utilization of teachers, existing staffing norms and proof of marriage.
The Circular also recommended to the Regional TSC officials that they should first conduct staff balancing within the sub-counties before transferring teachers outside their jurisdiction. Besides, they were also directed to give priority to teachers who have applied individually for transfers and are also eligible for those transfers.
The TSC County directors were given until the 4th of May, 2022 to submit their reports on how the exercise was conducted with a complete list of the affected teachers.
In terms of illness, teachers with proven cases of terminal illness were also considered in the new CBA as well as those who are aged 56 years and above will be exempted from transfers out of their current Sub-County of work. This guideline was the same before the signing of the new CBA.
However, the Commission also directed the Committees that vetted the transfers to ensure that those teachers with terminal illnesses and those with terminal illnesses produce valid documents to prove their cases in order to enjoy their exemption.
Once teachers with a terminal illness and those with disabilities provide valid proof, the Commission is to consider them based on the “First in, First Out” factor, gender balance and security of the teachers where possible.
The Commission has been dealing with staff shortage for decades with the shortfall of around 114,581 teachers in primary and post-primary institutions due to the increased enrolment of learners in schools, the one hundred per cent transition policy, natural attrition among teachers and the registration of new schools.
With all those factors to consider, the Commission has to also ensure that it evenly distributes more than 330,000 teachers who are currently serving in public schools across the country.
In comparison schools in urban areas have tended to attract more teachers compared to those in rural areas. On the other hand, schools in arid areas and those in insecure areas are poorly staffed despite the Commission providing hardship allowance.