The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has suffered a blow in its push to carry out quality assurances or monitoring of teachers in schools following the advice of Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki.
Mr Kariuki, in an advisory opinion to TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia dated November 26, highlighted the functions of the commission and the list does not include quality assurance in schools.
The commission and the Education ministry have been fighting over this role including monitoring teachers’ attendance record, completion of syllabus, students competence and review of teaching books.
Mr Kariuki said the commission is an independent constitutional body established under Article 237 with the mandate of registering, recruiting and employing teachers; assigning them to public schools and other institutions; promoting and transferring them.
The commission is also mandated to review education standards and training of persons entering the teaching service, reviewing demand for and supply of teachers, and advising the national government on matters relating to the teaching profession.
Despite an earlier advisory that the TSC has no role in quality assurance of education in schools, the commission went ahead and recruited curriculum support officers. In May this year, the TSC appointed Reuben Mugwuku as Director of Quality Assurance and Standards.
The Ministry of Education has also a directorate of quality assurance and standards which is headed by Pius Mutisya with similar functions.
In 2014, in a letter to then Attorney General Githu Muigai, the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution then chaired by Charles Nyachae said the TSC cannot be involved in quality assurance. The cold war between the ministry and the TSC is set to intensify following the latest advisory by Mr Kariuki.
The CS kept the ministry in the dark while seeking opinion from the AG and instead only copied the letter to Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and Chairman of the National Assembly’s Education Committee Julius Melly.