Functions of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Kenya
What is the mandate and role of Kenya’s Teachers Service Commission (TSC)? The TSC is one of the independent commissions established by Chapter Fifteen of the Kenyan Constitution (Article 248).
The Teachers Service Commission is established by Article 237 of the Kenyan Constitution. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Act, an Act of Parliament, contains additional provisions concerning the Commission.
Although the Teachers Service Commission was established in 1967, its origins can be traced back to the 1950s. Teachers (led by former President Daniel Arap Moi) fought hard at the time for the formation of a single-teacher body.
Following the formation of Kenya’s first teacher’s union, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), in 1957, there was persistent agitation for the establishment of a governing body to oversee the affairs of all teachers.
Teachers were employed at the time by missionaries, local governments, or the Central Government, resulting in significant disparities in remuneration and other terms and conditions of service.
The Kenya Education Commission Report (The Ominde Report) of 1964 emphasized the importance of a competent, respected, and contented teaching force. As a result of these factors, the Teachers Service Commission was established by an Act of Parliament in July 1967.
TSC was established to provide teachers with a single employer and uniform terms and conditions of employment. It was tasked with registering, hiring, promoting, disciplining, and remunerating teachers.
Membership Of The Teachers Service Commission
The Teachers Service Commission consists of a chairperson and eight other members. The chairperson and members of the Commission should serve full-time for a six-year non-renewable term.
A person is qualified for the position of chairperson if and only if the following conditions are met:
Holds a degree in education from a Kenyan university; has at least fifteen years of knowledge and experience in education and training; meets the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution (on leadership and integrity).
A person is eligible for appointment as a member if he or she meets the following criteria:
Holds a degree from a Kenyan university; possesses at least ten years of knowledge and experience in any of the following fields: education, governance, management, and law; and satisfies the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution.
The President should ensure that at least two-thirds of Commission members have educational experience when appointing them.
Functions Of The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Kenya
The mandate and functions of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) are stated in Article 237 of the Kenyan Constitution as follows:
Register trained teachers
- Recruit and hire registered teachers
- Assign teachers employed by the Commission to serve in any public school or institution
- Promote and transfer teachers
- Exercise disciplinary control over teachers
- Terminate teachers’ employment.
- Examine the educational and training standards of those entering the teaching profession
- Examine the demand for and supply of teachers and;
- Advise the national government on matters pertaining to the teaching profession.
Section 11 of the TSC Act adds to the Teachers Service Commission’s (TSC) mandate and functions:
- Formulate policies to achieve its mandate
- Provide strategic direction, leadership, and oversight to the Commission’s secretariat (as defined in Section 18 of the TSC Act)
- Ensure that teachers adhere to the teaching standards prescribed by the Commission under the TSC Act
- Manage the payroll of teachers in its employment
- Facilitate career progression and professional development for teachers in the teaching service, including the appointment of head teachers and principals.
- Monitor teachers’ conduct and performance in the teaching service and;
- Do anything else that may be required for the effective discharge of its functions and the exercise of its powers.
Powers Of The Teachers Service Commission
According to Kenyan Constitution Article 252, the Commission has the following powers:
- To conduct investigations on its own initiative or in response to a complaint made by a member of the public
- To recruit its own staff and;
- To perform any functions and exercise any powers prescribed by legislation, in addition to the functions and powers conferred by the Constitution.
The Teachers Service Commission Act also grants the Commission the authority to:
- Acquire, hold, charge, and dispose of movable and immovable property and;
- Do or perform all other things or acts for the proper discharge of its functions under the Constitution and the Act that a body corporate may lawfully do or perform.
Section 12 of the Teachers Service Commission Act states that the Commission—in carrying out its functions and exercising its powers—
- May inform itself in such manner as it considers appropriate
- May receive written or oral statements from members of the public
- May require the attendance of a person before it or its committee and;
- It is not bound by strict rules of evidence.
Check out the Teachers Service Commission Act and their website at tsc.go.ke for more information on the mandate and functions of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Kenya, as well as other provisions.