What is Teachers Service Commission?
What is Teachers Service Commission? – Answer:
Although the Teachers Service Commission was established in 1967, its history dates back to the 1950s when teachers led by retired President Daniel T 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 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.
- A motivated, ethical and globally competitive teacher.
- To regulate, maintain and manage the teaching service through sound policies and operational excellence for quality teaching and lifelong learning.
- Customer focus
- Team spirit
Function and Mandate
Under Article 237(2) of the Constitution, the Commission is mandated to perform the following functions:
- 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 supply of teachers
- Advise the national government on matters relating to the teaching profession
Growth and Development
Over the years, the Commission has greatly grown in size and operational capacity. From only 37,000 registered teachers in 1967 the number in the Register of Teachers has grown to more than 758,914 in 2017. Of these, around 300,000 are employed by the Teachers Service Commission while others are engaged in private schools, non-governmental organizations and different government agencies.
The Commission has a secretariat that manages the affairs of teachers. Operations of the secretariat have been enhanced through creation of specialized departments and divisions. From its inception in 1967 the secretariat has grown from 100 to over 3000 officers in 2017.
Contributory Pension Scheme
Proposed Contributory Pension Scheme
The government proposed a public servants superannuation scheme. This is a defined pension benefit scheme where both the employer and the employee contribute certain proportions towards pension benefits. It is mandatory for those joining service and those below 45 years. Those above 45 years can opt to join.
Benefits of the proposed contributory Pension scheme
- An employee can transfer pension benefit credits from a former employer to another with a similar Pension scheme.
- The scheme allows employees to access part of their benefits even before the mandatory retirement age.
- Teachers joining the scheme from non-contributory pension scheme will have their past benefits transferred to the new scheme.
- Widows and Children’s Pension Scheme (WCPS) and NSSF contribution will cease immediately an employee joins the scheme.
- Those who remain in the free Pension Act will be bound by the provision of the Pensions Act cap 189.
This applies to teachers who have attained 60 years. A notice will be issued two years before the date of retirement. The Commission may issue a shorter retirement notice under special circumstances.
Upon receipt of the retirement notice a teacher shall;
- Promptly forward all the required documents listed in the notice.
- Indicate full particulars of his/her bank account in the bank forms.
- Commute a fraction of his/her pension up to a quarter.
- Confirm Tax status with KRA and settle any tax liabilities.
Members are eligible for this benefit when they attain 55 years and have retired from regular employment.
This is a benefit payable to members who have attained the age of 50 years and have retired from formal employment.
This is payable to members who have been rendered invalid due to physical or mental illness and cannot earn a reasonable livelihood.
Paid to a member who is certified as being incapable of working due to physical or mental disability permanently.
Emigration grants benefits
This benefit is payable to members, without any reference to age, who are emigrating from Kenya to any other country without the intention of returning to Kenya.
This is a cash token to support the bereaved family of a deceased member. It is paid to a nominated family representative of the deceased member as long as the latter had made at least 3 months contributions to the NSSF. The grant is payable within three months after the death of the member.
Teachers who served under temporary terms of service should visit NSSF offices in their sub-counties and obtain a schedule showing the amount and period of contribution. Where the amount is not reflected, the statement should be forwarded to the Commission for updating. The benefits are payable in accordance to NSSF Act Cap 258.
Transfer of Service
A teacher who is offered employment by the Public Service Commission will have his/her past service with the Commission transferred to the new Ministry. Such a teacher shall be required to apply for Transfer of service attaching the appointment letter, acceptance of offer letter and TSC clearance certificate.
The Commission will then:
- Process Transfer of Service documents.
- Submit documents to the relevant ministry/department.
Release to Other Organizations
A teacher who has been appointed to a Public Institution, Teachers Union, non-profit making educational institution or Parastatal should submit an application to the Commission in writing through the head of institution or agent and:
- Attach a copy of the appointment letter
- Present letter of acceptance of the offer
- Present a TSC clearance certificate from the head of institution or TSC County Director in order to be released.
The benefits from the teaching service are suspended until one retires with benefits from the institution he/she was released to.
The dependants of a teacher who dies in service are entitled to Death Gratuity and Dependants Pension if the teacher was serving on Permanent and Pensionable terms and was confirmed in the service.
For Death Gratuity to be paid the following shall apply:
- Deceased teacher’s name is removed from payroll and overpayment recovered if any.
- The next-of-kin should submit original death certificate and a letter by area chief identifying the next-of-kin and dependants.
- The next of kin will settle over payment if any.
- The claim is forwarded to the Director of Pensions for payment.
NB: In case of a dispute, the parties involved are referred to the Deputy County Commissioner for arbitration. The dependants may also seek legal redress from a court of law. Pension is paid to the deceased dependants who are aged below 18 years for a period of 5 years.
Killed while on duty
This is pension paid to dependants when a teacher is killed while on duty. The benefit is payable to the spouse and/or dependants of a teacher who dies as a result of injuries in the actual discharge of duty and without his/her own intention.
NB: The retirees/next of kin are informed when the claims are forwarded to the treasury for payment.
Termination of Service
- An appointment of a teacher either serving on temporary or probationary terms may be terminated by either the Commission or the teacher, with either party giving one month’s notice in writing or paying one month’s basic salary in lieu of notice.
- An appointment on P&P terms may be terminated by either the Commission or the teacher, with either party giving three (3) month’s notice in writing or paying one (1) month’s basic salary in lieu of notice.
- In case of temporary appointment, NSSF benefits are administered as per NSSF Act Cap 258.
- A male teacher who was a contributor to WCPS qualifies for a refund of the amounts contributed.
Resignation on Marriage Grounds
A married female teacher who has served for a minimum of period of five (5) years on P&P terms can resign on account of marriage.
One is entitled to a marriage gratuity paid at a rate of 1/12 of a month’s pensionable emoluments for each completed month of pensionable service subject to a maximum of one year pensionable emoluments.
A teacher on permanent and pensionable terms can resign from service after giving three months’ notice in writing or pay one month’s basic salary in lieu of notice. Resignation will not attract any pension benefits. However, a male teacher who resigns or is dismissed from service is entitled to WCPS refund. Such a teacher should write claiming the refund.
Retirement in Public Interest
A teacher may be retired in the light of his/her usefulness to the teaching service or any public assignment and all other circumstances of the case, such retirement is desirable in the public interest.
NB: Teachers who retire qualify for lump sum and monthly Pension.
Retirement on Medical Grounds
A teacher may apply to retire or be called upon to retire on medical grounds and he/she should attach supportive medical documents.
- The Commission will write to the Director of Medical Services (DMS) to convene a medical board.
- The Medical Board will assess the teacher and give a recommendation to the DMS who in turn advises the Commission.
- The Commission will retire the teacher on medical grounds.
A teacher may apply to retire on attainment of 50 years and on completion of 10 years continuous service on Permanent and Pensionable terms. Such a teacher shall apply in writing through the head of institution giving three months’ notice, stating the intended date of retirement.
Upon receipt of the application the Commission shall: Consider the application and issue a retirement notice. Process retirement claim upon receipt of required documents from the teacher. The claim will then be forwarded to the Director of Pension,Treasury, for payment.