Kenya's Teachers Service Commission has launched a new online system that will be used to appraise the performance of more than 290,000 teachers across the country. The system will be used to conduct teacher performance appraisals, and will also contain career development tools.
The appraisal of teacher performance started earlier this year, and is one of the outcomes from a collective bargaining agreement that was signed by TSC and teachers' unions leaders last month.
It represents a fundamental shift in policy aimed at enhancing and maintaining high performance standards in the teaching service.
TSC acting director for teacher management Mary Rotich has directed all county education directors to activate and create online appraisals for the heads of institutions in their sub-counties. This way, the school heads will be able to upload appraisal data for teachers on a termly basis in the system.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the TSC and the teachers' unions states that all teachers will be evaluated annually as per the code of regulations.
The move is aimed at dealing with poor performance by keeping track of how well teachers are doing when it comes to delivering the essential curriculum material. The Commission will use the data from appraisals as a basis for rewarding those who perform well.
A report by the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity recently revealed that nearly a half of primary teachers in Kenya do not attend class.
The International Commission was set up to further the cause for investing in education. It brings together the best research and policy analysis to identify the most effective and accountable ways of mobilizing and deploying resources to help ensure that all children and young people have the opportunity to participate, learn and gain the skills they need for adulthood and work in the 21st century
Absenteeism, the International Commission report added, costs Kenya KES27 billion (US$265 million) a year in wasted pay, with 47 per cent of teachers staying away from classes while 16 per cent of them choose not to report to school at all.
TSC, Kenya National Union of Teachers and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers also agreed to ensure continuous professional development and annual appraisal evaluation system.