Relief To Teachers As TSC Retreats On Biometric Registration Of Teachers
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will not go on with the biometric teacher registration exercise as earlier planned, TSC CEO Nancy Macharia has confirmed.
While appearing before the parliamentary committee on education, Macharia said TSC cannot execute the exercise with the current funding.
She said the Commission needs additional budget to be able to carry out some crucial exercises, including biometric registration exercise and promotion of teachers.
She told legislators that the allocations for other critical areas like promotion of teachers on competitive selection, roll-out of a national biometric enrolment and validation of teachers and gratuity to 3,358 contract tutors in northern Kenya had not been factored in the budget.
Macharia pleaded with the legislatures for additional funding to cater for biometric registration, teacher promotions among other critical areas.
“The commission would appreciate Parliament’s help for these areas to receive some allocation,” she said.
Though TSC received an additional budget of approximately sh. 15 billion for the next financial year, the Commission proposed to use the monies for employment of new teachers.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani had allocated an additional Sh14.9 billion to the TSC, whose budget has risen to Sh296.6 billion from Sh281.7 billion in the new financial year.
However, TSC in a report which was presented to the Committee on Education and Research of the National Assembly by the Parliamentary Budget Office, shows it has planned to use its increased allocation of Sh15 billion exclusively to employ 13,000 secondary school teachers and 9,000 interns to cope with exits and the expected increase in enrolment when junior secondary is rolled out in January 2023.
The legislatures however approved sh. 2.5 billion additional budget for employment of more teachers. According to TSC proposal it will use the money to employ 5,000 teachers this year.
Macharia had earlier said the Commission will launch countrywide Biometric Enrolment and Validation of Teachers (BEVOT) exercise in March 2022.
She said that the biometric registration is about getting teachers bio data, for instance TSC will know if the teacher has gone back to school to get Teacher Professional Development (TPD) training.
We shall also know if there is anything about the teacher that we do not know about.For example,in the register we do not know how many children a teacher has and this biometric process will inform us better,” said Macharia.
However, with the current examination period, it will also not be possible for the Commission to proceed with the exercise.
This is because teachers are largely involved in overseeing the exams. Teachers are involved in
supervision, invigilation and marking of the exams.
TSC already suspended some privileges for teachers like leaves to allow a smooth examination period. The Commission only allowed female teachers to proceed with the maternity leave starting 21st February 2022.
The biometric registration exercise will involve taking a teacher’s biometric data for purposes of service enhancement.
Already piloting exercise was carried out in 143 selected public schools and colleges.TSC launched the piloting exercise on 17th May 2021 at Nyeri high school.
Ibrahim Mumin who is the TSC Director Administrative Services oversaw the piloting of the enrolment exercise which was conducted in schools during the official working hours between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.
TSC says the biometric registration will help the Commission to verify teacher distribution and utilization in schools, establish areas of teaching specialization, validate the enrolment in public schools and authenticate teacher’s biodata and employment records.
Teachers are required to physically avail the following five documents during the exercise;
1)Certificate of registration
2) National ID card
3)Letter of first appointment
4)Letter of last appointment
The process, which was scheduled for piloting in May 2020 year, was shelved due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
Seven counties were identified for the piloting exercise. The counties where piloting exercise took place are Uasin Gishu,Homa Bay,Bungoma,Nyeri,Kilifi,Kitui and Garissa.
The counties were selected because they present both rural and urban setups, which will give reliable lessons for the national rollout.
The piloting schools were selected to 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,Centre for Mathematics,Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) and Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE),” reads the concept brief.
Only 143 selected schools took part in this piloting stage. The institutions include primary, secondary and teachers training colleges.