Controversial Changes in New TSC Teacher Recruitment Ignite a Heated Debate

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) recently shook things up by advertising 20,000 internship positions for primary and junior secondary school (JSS) teachers. However, these new developments have left many scratching their heads and voicing their concerns.

Firstly, the TSC’s application form now requires teachers to disclose their ethnicity—a requirement that has caught many off guard. Teachers are questioning why the commission is interested in listing their ethnic backgrounds. Perhaps this move can be linked to the TSC’s interim report, which was submitted to Parliament back in May.

According to the report, the majority of the 36,000 teachers hired by the TSC in January belonged to the Kalenjin community. TSC CEO Nancy Macharia, while presenting the report to the National Assembly’s Cohesion and Equal Opportunity Committee, stated that out of the 20,990 teachers covered in the report, a diverse range of ethnic groups were represented on the payroll.

The report revealed that the Kalenjin community secured the highest number of teaching slots, followed by other major tribes such as Luhya, Kikuyu, Kamba, Luo, and Kisii. The breakdown showed that 4,048 Kalenjins were recruited, 3,187 Luhya, 2,913 Kikuyu, 2,576 Luo, and 1,737 Kisii. On the other end of the spectrum, smaller communities like Kenya Arabs, Elmolo, and Murulle were allocated only one slot each. Meanwhile, communities like Ogaden, Dorobo, Rendille, and Sakuye received just two slots each. It’s worth noting that out of the 42 officially recognized tribes, six communities did not secure any teaching slots.

Secondly, successful candidates hired as interns will now need to provide a certificate of good conduct. This requirement first came to light in 2021 when Prof. Fatuma Chege, the Principal Secretary for the State Department for Implementation of Curriculum Reforms, emphasized that all teachers must possess this document. Prof. Chege explained that the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) would introduce various changes to instill integrity within the education sector. The certificate of good conduct, issued by the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), must be renewed every twelve months and comes with a price tag of Kshs. 1,050.

Lastly, teachers applying for internships have discovered that editing their entered data is an uphill battle. In previous recruitment cycles, candidates had the opportunity to correct errors in their submitted applications. However, the current application process lacks this editing feature, making it vital for applicants to be cautious and double-check their information before submitting.


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