TSC Director Moves In To Demystify Teachers’ Notion On Performance Contracts And Appraisals.

Kiambu TSC Director Ms. Lilian Mwangi speaking to the press after overseeing the Thika East teachers’ performance appraisal and development forum at St. Johns Teachers College Kilimambogo.
Kiambu County Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Director Lilian Mwangi has moved to assuage teachers’ fears in relation to performance contracts and appraisals introduced last year by the commission. She clarified that this exercise was just the beginning of a process that would systematically see teachers earn promotion in a fair and quantifiable manner and improve their working but not a thinly veiled attempt to have them fired from their jobs. 

Speaking at St. Johns Teachers College Kilimambogo during the Thika East teachers’ performance appraisal and development forum, Ms. Mwangi said the issue had been overly misunderstood and thus the need to demystify the notion that it was introduced to punish or sack them.

Ms. Mwangi explained that the dreaded performance contracts were merely management tools used by TSC guarantee good performance in the schools. She said that these contracts were signed agreements between the headteachers and the CEO of TSC to assist in monitoring the school’s progress over a period of time.

On the other hand, performance appraisals were contracts signed by individual teachers with their respective supervisors, still geared towards the same goal.

“Performance appraisal is simply the culmination of so many aspects of the teaching profession that we review and is geared towards helping the teachers improve their performance. This is in a bid to boost learning in public schools and also assist the TSC in determining remuneration and promotions of its workforce,” explained Ms. Mwangi.

The director further explained that the evaluation was usually done against agreed standards where the TSC quality assurance evaluators would help the teachers identify their strengths and where they needed support for development.

“This model is a clear break from previous form of appraisal where the head teacher would write a confidential report on a teacher each year which the teacher had no input and in most cases did not even know what had been written about them,” she said.

Ms. Mwangi pointed out that the appraisals were part of TSC’s ‘Transformational Agenda’ that was aimed at improving professionalism among teachers, the quality of education and security of the learners. In this regard, they had introduced a competition among the teaching staff where every year they would announce the winners to the ‘Teacher of The Year’ (TOYA) and ‘Headteacher of The Year’ (HOYA) Awards.

The exercise will culminate in a national award ceremony in Mombasa. The candidates contest from regional to national level. Under the exercise, the teachers are tasked to demonstrate step by step measures they have taken to raise education levels in their schools. Parameters include quality education subject performance, gender and curriculum implementation.

“For instance, we are here today to appreciate the good performance of teachers in this sub-county that has seen them improve their last year’s performance with a deviation index of 7.8 which is a great step in the right direction. Right now we are at the sub-county level of this completion. It will then proceed to the county, regional and eventually the nationals which will be held in Mombasa. TSC usually recognises these teachers and considers them in so many career development activities,” said Ms. Mwangi.

Basically, the performance contracts mandate the teachers to demonstrate that they understand what they are teaching, the tools they use to share knowledge in class and their methods of assessing learning in a new evaluation criteria. They will be awarded marks on the basis of whether they have personal time tables, syllabi, updated lesson plans, lesson notes and approved schemes of work and mark books. TSC will also be interested to know whether teachers mark students’ work, mark registers, keep record of co-curricular activities and manage learners’ discipline.

In addition, TSC will evaluate the relative contributions made by individuals and schools in achieving higher level organisation goals. This will help in ascertaining and diagnosing training and development decisions, budgeting and human resources planning.
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