Nzomo urges State to recruit more teachers
Chairperson of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Dr Lydia Nzomo, the pioneer holder of that portfolio, is set to officially retire today, having served a non-renewable term of six years.
Her exit opens the door for search of a new chairperson for the much-coveted position.
Nzomo took oath of office on December 9, 2014, which marked the beginning of her tenure to lead TSC as a constitutional commission.
In an exit report to mark her exit, Nzomo outlines her achievements, saying the top agenda was the need to realise transformation in the teaching service.
She said together with the board, they formulated an elaborate four-pronged reform agenda that became the clarion call throughout her tenure.
“The four pillars of the reform agenda were provision of quality education to the Kenyan children, professionalisation of the teaching service, protection of the learners and provision of quality and efficient services to all our stakeholders,” said Nzomo in the report.
Nzomo recommends that government prioritises recruitment of more teachers to address understaffing currently experienced in learning institutions.
She also called for the need to provide housing facilities for teachers in ASAL areas and that hardship allowance for extreme hard areas to staff be enhanced.
“There should be enhanced collaboration with government security agencies, local communities and relevant stakeholders to work together in addressing security issues to create conducive environment for teachers and learners,” she said.
She also urged the commission to expand resource mobilisation by securing alternative sources of funding in addition to the funds from Treasury, work with partners and development partners.
“The commission should continue to lobby and petition national government to provide more funds for recruitment of additional teachers and human resource development required to keep up with the emerging dynamics,” she recommended.
As TSC finalises the process of automation, she said it should be allocated additional funding for training to transform the current staff complement from manual to digital orientation will be required.
“Digital technologies should be integrated into the commission’s transformation and innovation strategies.
Collaborate with other actors in education sector to develop and implement a comprehensive national digital learning policy,” she urged the Commission.
Nzomo said the board developed and reviewed various policies and administrative instruments that govern the structures and operations in the teaching service.
She said some of these policies and tools affect routine operations while others represented a fundamental shift in the structure and management of the teaching service.
Key among the key policies were Career Progression Guidelines (CPG) for teachers and the policy on identification, appointment and deployment of institutional administrators that became operational in November 2017.
“This paradigm shift on career progression of teachers was largely informed by recommendations of job evaluation report carried out by Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and TSC,” said Nzomo.
Key recommendations of the report were new salary structure, substantive appointment of institutional administrators and introduction of Teacher Professional Development (TPD).
However, CPG and TPD attracted condemnation from Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and moved to court to oppose its implementation.
Nzomo said the commission was part of negotiation, signing and implementation of the first ever Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the teachers’ unions, which brought to closure most of the outstanding issues with teachers.
The outgoing chair said the attendant truce and industrial harmony realised over this period has enhanced the provision of quality education.
She said TSC’s commitment to excellence in service delivery during her tenure was reflected in the superior performance and recognition of teachers globally and regionally.