Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has pledged to work closely with education stakeholders in the counties to boost education standards in schools across the country.
TSC Vice-Chair Ms. Leila Ali said the Commission was committed to continuously improving on the welfare of teachers and promote the well-being of the education ecosystem in Kenya.
Speaking during a stakeholders meeting in Mwatate in Taita-Taveta County on Monday, Ali stated that the visit would help identify challenges facing teachers and learners in schools and that the findings would help the Commission improve on service delivery.
“This visit is part of our nation-wide county engagement with stakeholders in the education sector. We are here to see what happens in the learning facilities and receive information directly from you,” she said.
During the meeting, stakeholders raised issues that they needed TSC to address among them disparities in hardship allowances for teachers, inadequate teaching staff for schools with large learners’ population, lack of Islamic Studies teachers in most schools and stagnation for teachers on acting capacity.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Executive Secretary in the region Shedrack Mutungi asked TSC to consider giving hardship allowances to teachers working in marginalized areas to boost their morale.
He added that most schools deserving to be classified as hardship areas were not covered by hardship allowances. “The Commission needs to expand the areas covered by hardship allowances to include teachers in zones that have been left out,” he said.
Mr. Elias Mberi, the County Chair of Parents Association, asked the TSC to employ adequate IRE teachers to cater for the burgeoning population of Muslim students in the county.
He added that in other schools, IRE teachers were overwhelmed by the number of classes and learners they had to teach.
“TSC needs to address this issue urgently by employing enough IRE teachers. Those learners need to be taught because that is an examinable subject,” he said.
Leaders present during the meeting included County Commissioner Loyord Kibaara, ACK Taita-Taveta Diocese Bishop Liverson Mngonda, Deputy Governor Majala Mlaghui, Senator Jones Mwaluma and Mwatate MP Andrew Mwadime. Other senior government officials included TSC Coast Region Director Victoria Muoki, heads representatives and officials of teachers unions.
During the meeting, the commissioners were informed that Taveta sub-county had set aside land to construct a public Teachers’ Training College (TTC) to supplement the efforts by St. Mary’s TTC in Bura.
County Director of Education Simon Wanjohi said that land would be inspected and handed over to the government for the project. “There is land for that activity. The sub-committee on education in the county education board will inspect it and give a report on the suitability,” he explained.
Local leaders urged TSC to design a formula that would allow most youth in the region to join TTCs for training as teachers.
Mwatate MP Andrew Mwadime argued that marginalized areas should not be measured on the same strength as other developed area.
He added that local youth who were qualified to join training colleges were locked out by the stringent conditions set by the Commission. “There should be a balance to accommodate marginalized areas. This will take care of youths who want to become teachers,” he said.
He also complained about teachers’ transfers from performing schools which he said was adversely affecting the results in examinations.