What is the mandate and functions of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Kenya? TSC is one of the independent commissions provided for under Chapter Fifteen of the Kenyan Constitution (Article 248).
Article 237 of the Kenyan Constitution establishes the Teachers Service Commission. Further provisions about the Commission are in the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Act, an Act of Parliament.
Although the Teachers Service Commission came to existence in 1967, its history dates back to the 1950s. At the time, teachers (led by former President Daniel Arap Moi) vigorously fought for the formation of one teacher body.
Following the formation of the first teachers union in Kenya – the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) in 1957, there was sustained agitation for the creation of an umbrella body to manage the affairs of all teachers.
At the time, teachers were employed by either; missionaries, local authorities or the Central Government which led to a great disparity in remuneration and other terms and conditions of service.
In 1964, The Kenya Education Commission Report (The Ominde Report) strongly supported the need for a competent, respected and contented teaching force. As a result of these factors, the Teachers Service Commission was formed in July 1967 through an Act of Parliament.
TSC was formed to give teachers one employer and uniform terms and conditions of service. It was charged with the mandate of registering, employing, promoting, disciplining and paying teachers.
The members of the Teachers Service Commission are a chairperson and eight other members. The chairperson and members of the Commission should serve on a full-time basis for a non-renewable term of six years.
A person is qualified for appointment as the chairperson if such person:
- holds a degree in education from a university recognized in Kenya;
- has knowledge and experience of at least fifteen years in matters relating to education and training;
- meets the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution (on leadership and integrity).
A person shall be qualified for appointment as a member if such person—
- holds a degree from a university recognized in Kenya;
- has knowledge and experience of at least ten years in matters relating to any of the following fields —
- law; and
- meets the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution.
In appointing members of the Commission, the President should ensure that at least two-thirds of the members have experience in education.
Article 237 of the Kenyan Constitution stipulates the mandate and functions of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) as to:
- register trained teachers;
- recruit and employ registered teachers;
- assign teachers employed by the Commission for service in any public school or institution;
- promote and transfer teachers;
- exercise disciplinary control over teachers;
- terminate the employment of teachers.
- review the standards of education and training of persons entering the teaching service;
- review the demand for and the supply of teachers; and
- advise the national government on matters relating to the teaching profession.
Additional mandate and functions of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) under Section 11 of the TSC Act are to:
- formulate policies to achieve its mandate;
- provide strategic direction, leadership and oversight to the secretariat (of the Commission under Section 18 of TSC Act);
- ensure that teachers comply with the teaching standards prescribed by the Commission under 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 the conduct and performance of teachers in the teaching service; and
- do all such other things as may be necessary for the effective discharge of its functions and the exercise of its powers.
According to Article 252 of the Kenyan Constitution, the Commission has the powers:
- to conduct investigations on its own initiative or on a complaint made by a member of the public;
- necessary for conciliation, mediation and negotiation;
- 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.
Section 3 of the Teachers Service Commission Act also stipulates the Commission has the powers to:
- acquire, hold, charge and dispose of movable and immovable property; and
- perform or do all such other things or acts for the proper discharge of its functions under the Constitution and the Act as may lawfully be done or performed by a body corporate.
Section 12 of the Teachers Service Commission Act stipulates that in the performance of its functions and in the exercise of its powers, the Commission—
- 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
- shall not be bound by the strict rules of evidence.
For more about the mandate and functions of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Kenya, and other provisions, check the Teachers Service Commission Act and visit their website at tsc.go.ke.