Teachers are anxious ahead of mass transfers next term as the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) carries out rationalisation intended to balance staff across the country.

Commission chief executive Nancy Macharia said the exercise is meant to ensure all schools have a balanced teacher to learner ratio before the start of the new academic calendar. Schools are scheduled to open for the 2022 first term on April 25.

The countrywide exercise started yesterday and will see teachers in both primary and secondary schools across the country transferred to various schools.

In a circular to all TSC regional directors, Ms Macharia said despite numerous efforts by the commission to address teacher shortages, the situation is compounded by irregular teacher distribution.

“If unchecked, this will adversely impact learning outcomes in our learning institutions,” said Ms Macharia.

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She directed the regional directors to coordinate with county directors in their respective regions and undertake teacher rationalisation with a view to ensuring equitable distribution across the schools.

“Any arising movements conducted in the local areas must have a human face and must be well discussed with all relevant offices to ensure equity for all of our learners in tandem with existing staffing norms,” said Ms Macharia.

Shortage of teachers

According to TSC, the shortage of teachers in primary and post primary institutions stands at 114,581.

Among the factors to be considered when transferring the teachers is their age, health status, disabilities, marital status and time served in the current school.

Teachers aged 56 years and above will be exempted from the transfer, as well as those with proven cases of terminal illness. Others are teachers with disability and who have the necessary certification.

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“The committee will evaluate each case on its own merit, taking into consideration the supporting medical documents, availability and accessibility to the appropriate medical facilities, among other factors in the proposed station,” she said.

The transfers are, however, a big relief for teachers who are couples and who have declared their marital status, as the commission ordered that they be transferred in the same neighbourhood where possible.

The delocalisation programme by the TSC has been a thorn in the flesh of teachers when it comes to transfers. Teachers have been complaining that the transfers have been separating families.

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Qualifying for transfer

Teachers must also have served in a station for a period of not less than three years, or five years for North Eastern and other areas, respectively, since their first appointment to qualify for the transfers, unless otherwise authorised by the commission’s secretary.

Priority should also be given to teachers who have applied for the transfer and are eligible.

Ms Macharia said in cases where teachers meet the criteria for transfer, the commission will consider first in, and gender balance where applicable as well as teacher’s security.

“Henceforth, teachers transfer will be a continuous exercise to address staffing gaps and to ensure equitable distribution and optimal teacher utilisation,” she added. She said the staff balancing exercises is intended to be complete by May 9.

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