KUPPET Launches Fresh Push to Clip TSC’s Wings, Propose Independent Regulator
The push by Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers(KUPPET) to have an independent professional regulator for teachers has now taken a new twist;the Union now demands for its creation as soon as 2023.Speaking during the 24th Annual Delegates Conference (ADC) in Murang’a,National Chairman and Emuhaya Member ofParliament Hon.Omboko Milemba said the regulator will remove the immense powers the Teachers Service Commission(TSC) is wielding as both employer and regulator.
“As part of our agenda (for) 2023,we need to demand for creation of a regulator for teachers. This will remove the immense powers wielded by the TSC as both an employer and a regulator, which have made the TSC to be conflicted in its role,” said Milemba.
According to Milemba, the regulator will independently deal with issues of line in the teaching service, and advise on matters of promotion ana salaries,without interference from the employer’s perspective.
“A professional regulator will bring independence, expertise, neutrality and knowledge in handling disciplinary cases, while also advising independently on promotions and salaries without undue influence from the employer’s perspective,”said Milemba.
He added: “For instance, why should a principal (as secretary to the board) who indicted a teacher be the same person giving evidence to the Commission?” Milemba reiterated that the education sector must now be professionalized just like the medics and lawyers, among other professions, and that they will start undertaking the necessary amendments to both the country’s constitution and the TSC Act.
This is not the first time the Union is pushing to have a regulator in the teaching service.It started when Milemba in October 2021 suggested that a teachers’ professional body be included in the then Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.
He urged that there should be a special body to deal with teachers’professionalism so that TSC can only remain as employer; with the regulator creating the framework for continuous professional development, setting ethical standards and crafting remedies for emerging challenges, including mental health issues and rehabilitation services.
It was later captured in the Prof. Fatuma Chege-led Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) taskforce in 2021 in its report titled ‘Enhancing Access,Relevance, Transition,Equity and Qualityfor Effective Curriculum Reforms Implementation, which it submitted tothe then President Uhuru Kenyatta in February 2022.
The report recommended that the stakeholders form a joint independently; with KNEC and KICD also organizing internal training for its staff.
Normally,other professions havesystems for ensuring CPD;for instancelawyers have the Kenya School of Law,accountants have the Institute ofCertified Public Accountants of Kenya(ICPAK), while in the medical field there isthe Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK) fornurses, and Kenya Medical Practitionersand Dentist Council (KMPDC) for medicaland dentist practitioners, among others.
There is no professional body for teachers in the country, with a move by MoE’s at one point creating the Kenya School of Education that could not launch into a fully-fledged regulator.There has been an outcry from teachers through their Unions that TSC powers should be reduced – that is, it should only employ the teachers-and the responsibility of regulating them be moved to a different body.