Hope for teachers as State told to spend Sh20bn on promotions
More than 20,000 teachers stand to be promoted if their employer adopts recommendations of a report by the National Assembly’s Education Committee to spend part of Sh20 billion on the exercise.The committee, in its report, regretted that thousands of teachers are not getting promotions due to frequent and unwarranted litigations by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and teachers’ unions.“As a committee, we met and agreed that TSC, Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) hold a meeting and resolve this dispute over promotion of teachers,” said the committee chairman Julius Melly (Tinderet).
TSC has been allocated Sh251 billion in the next financial year starting July 1, an increase from the 2018/2019 budget of Sh225 billion.The committee observed that it was wrong to punish teachers who deserve promotions and that the promotions would determine their retirement package.
The TSC, in its 2019-2023 strategic plan, acknowledged that thousands of teachers had stagnated in their current positions for years due to lack of funds and limited opportunities for upward mobility.The commission stated that limitations on budgetary provisions for the last five years had limited opportunities for teacher promotion, a situation it said had led to a demotivated teaching force and a high turnover in some teaching areas, creating general instability in the provision of teaching services.
Teachers unions have been pushing for the promotion of teachers who have acquired higher academic qualification since 2014.Data from TSC indicates that a total of 54,702 teachers have upgraded their education and acquired new academic papers and are seeking promotions.However, Knut secretary Wilson Sossion insisted that all the 54,000 teachers should be promoted saying they have stagnated in their current positions for far too long.“Teachers who deserve promotions ought to be moved and it is not a favour we are asking for,” said Mr Sossion.The commission has since indicated that it will be putting up advertisements for a competitive promotion of teachers.
According to TSC, during the 2015 to 2018 period, 11,177 teachers were promoted competitively through advertised posts.“These were teachers promoted from Job groups K to R, in addition to 35,887 teachers upgraded through the common cadre provision. During the period under review, the Commission, in conjunction with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), conducted a job evaluation exercise for the teaching service that informed the implementation of Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) with teachers’ unions,” reads the strategic plan.
Subsequently, the commission reviewed the existing schemes of service and adopted career progression guidelines for the teaching service.The commission and Knut are already in court over the promotion of teachers. TSC argues that the demand by Knut that teachers be promoted based on attainment of higher qualification as the only criteria is contrary to the code of regulations for teachers.
The TSC chief executive officer, Nancy Macharia, in a memorandum says promotion is guided by merit and ability as reflected in the teachers’ work, performance and results, seniority and experience as set out in the scheme of service, existence of a vacancy, academic and professional qualification and any other criteria the commission may consider relevant.She says attainment of higher qualification is not the only factor as alleged by Knut and insists that demand by the union for the promotion of teachers based on higher qualification alone is not tenable as the same is contrary to the requirements of the CBA signed by parties.However, Knut in its memorandum, says it is not seeking promotion of teachers only based on higher qualifications only but promotions on the basis of what the law, regulations and the practice has as policies.“The CORT has not been amended nor repealed and cannot be repealed or amended by a policy document. Its recognition and adoption of scheme of service is anchored and protected in law,” says Knut in a memorandum signed by Mr Sossion.
Only 2,000 Guests For Mashujaa Day Fete Due To Covid-19 Threat, Says Kibicho
Only 2,000 guests will be allowed to attend this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations on October 20 at the Wang’uru Stadium in Mwea, Kirinyaga County.
Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said the number has been reduced from 15,000 to 2,000 due to Covid-19 threat.
Speaking at General Kassam Stadium in Kianyaga in Gichugu Constituency during a leaders’ meeting, Kibicho said President Uhuru Kenyatta will be the guest of honour during the celebration to be attended by other heads of state and dignitaries.
On September 14, Kirinyaga leaders held their first meeting at Kutus Sifa Garden and agreed to shelve their differences for the success of the fete.
“During our first meeting at Kutus, we brought together former and elected leaders and updated them on development undertaken by the national government,” Roads PS Paul Maringa said.
Kibicho said leaders will continue with meetings before and after Mashujaa Day celebrations for unity purposes.
“We will continue this meeting and inspect State development initiated by the president,” Woman Rep Purity Wangui said.
Kibicho also denied that the government is financing a businessman who is convening the peace meetings, saying that the government cannot give monies to private individuals for such endeavours.
Kenya Set To Attend 76th UN General Assembly
Kenya is set to attend the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in October this year, where it will showcase its progress towards achieving a sustainable development goal in line with the 2030 Agenda.
Kenya’s delegation to the high level session led by the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Raychelle Omamo, will focus on the Big 4 Agenda and particularly, on matters that touch on energy, food systems, climate change, global governance and oceans, progress made towards the sustainable development goals and regional peace and security.
On climate change, Amb. Omamo announced that Kenya which is known for its leadership role in addressing climate challenges increased her Nationally Determined Contributions from 30 per cent to 32 per cent and advocating for clean energy with focus on clean cooking and transformative agriculture for sustainable future.
“I am convinced that global support in terms of climate financing is paramount for the country to achieve her targets by the year 2025,” said Omamo.
The CS made the remarks while briefing Diplomatic Corps and the media on various International engagements by Kenya during its Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in the month of October at a Nairobi hotel.
She pointed that Kenya’s membership in the UN Security Council of the African Union Peace and Security Council and Kenya’s Presidency of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States has illustrated the country’s expanding influence on the international stage.
Amb. Omamo disclosed that Kenya will preside over the affairs of the UN Security Council, and will use the opportunity to pursue mutually beneficial outcomes as well as advance good neighbourliness and Pan Africanist ideals on regional peace and security, peace support operations, counter terrorism and violent extremism and climate security.
The CS at the same time announced that the high level dialogue on energy scheduled for September 24 this year organised by the United Nations Secretary General will offer Kenya together with other energy global theme partners from China, the European Union, Japan, Malawi, Netherlands, Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia an opportunity to host a thematic event on clean cooking.
She announced that a high level in- person ministerial briefing on the Great Lakes Region scheduled for October 20 this year at the UN Security Council Chambers in New York will seek to address sustainable solutions to the root causes and drivers of conflict.
“Countries of the Great Lake Region continue to be afflicted by many security challenges, however, in recent years, countries in Great Lakes Region have made commendable progress in addressing the root causes and drivers of conflict,” stressed the CS.
She said the progress can be attested by the peaceful transfers of power in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, the signing and implementation of peace agreements in the Central Africa Republic and South Sudan and the normalising of bilateral relations between Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.
The High-Level Ministerial briefing is also expected to provide an opportunity for the Security Council to renew its commitment to the region, and to support the implementation of the priority projects aimed at promoting a shared vision of regional, peace, security and socio-economic development and strengthening cooperation in addressing the drivers of conflict and instability.
The Ministerial open debate will also share insights on investing in women peacekeepers, peace builders, and their networks to accelerate the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda to ensure sustainable peace outcomes during and post peace operation and mission transition settings.
During her remarks, the CS also thanked development partners for supporting Kenya and the entire region over the years, and in particular, this time of Covid-19 pandemic by donating Covid-19 vaccines, personal protective equipment and other medical supplies.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is also expected to convene the second high level event for Heads of State and Government High Level debate on October 28, 2021 on cooperation between the UN and the Regional and Sub Regional Organisations with specific reference to the African Union.
Kenya’s Presidency in the 76th session which will have several events including those of Heads of States will seek beneficial alliances that reaffirm a rule based multilateral system that addresses global challenges in a manner that attracts consensus.
The country will also use the opportunity to reinforce Kenya’s multilateral credentials in the global arena.