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Why TSC blocks some teachers from secondary school roles despite having degrees

The Teacher Service Commission (TSC) has requirements set out for all secondary school teachers as outlined

A photo of a teacher addressing Alliance High School students

Teaching is one of the most prominent professions in Kenya, with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) estimating that the country has over 300,000 teachers.

The Teachers Service Commission of Kenya is an independent commission established under the Constitution of Kenya to manage human resources within the education sector.

In Kenya, teachers are categorised into three groups, Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE), Primary Education Teaching, and Diploma and Degree in education.

Each group of these teachers has different responsibilities and required qualifications.


This article, however, focuses on secondary school teachers and the qualifications they must possess.

Although the teaching curriculum changes regularly, the qualifications also shift with time. In 2024, TSC has the updated qualifications required to teach in secondary schools.

Below, we outline the qualifications needed for various education diplomas and degrees, including specialised programmes for teaching visually and hearing impaired students.

  1. Minimum grade of C+ in KCSE and above
  2. C+ (plus) in the two subjects of specialisation
  3. At least C plain in English
  4. C (plain) in Mathematics for science-based courses
  5. D+ (plus) in Mathematics for non-science-based courses
  1. Minimum grade of C Plain in KCSE and above
  2. At least C minus in English
  3. C (minus) in Mathematics for science-based courses
  4. D (plain) in Mathematics for non-science-based courses
  1. Minimum mean grade of C+ (plus) and above or its equivalent
  2. C+ (plus) in two subjects of specialisation

For those interested in a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, the requirements are:

  1. Minimum grade of C+ in KCSE and above
  2. C+ (plus) in the two subjects of specialisation
  3. Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) for those who wish to transition into teaching roles

While some degree holders may aspire to become secondary education teachers, the KCSE mean grade can sometimes be a limitation, as the TSC insists on a C+ grade, while some degree holders have below the required grade.

  1. Chemistry and Biology
  2. Chemistry and Physics
  3. Agriculture and Geography
  4. Biology and Geography
  5. Home Science and Biology
  6. Physics and Computer
  7. Agriculture and Biology
  8. Agriculture and Chemistry
  1. English and Literature
  2. Kiswahili and CRE
  3. Kiswahili and History
  4. Kiswahili and Geography
  5. German and Geography
  6. German and CRE
  7. Kiswahili and IRE
  8. Kiswahili and Home science
  9. Kiswahili and P.E.
  10. French and Geography
  11. French and Business Studies
  12. French and CRE
  13. French and History
  14. Arabic and IRE
  15. German and History
  1. Mathematics and Business Studies
  2. Mathematics and Geography
  3. Mathematics and Computer
  4. Mathematics and Chemistry
  5. Mathematics and Biology
  6. Mathematics and Physics
  1. Geography and CRE
  2. History and CRE
  3. Geography and History
  4. Geography and IRE
  5. History and IRE
  6. History and P.E.
  7. Geography and P.E.
  8. Geography and Business Studies
  9. Home Science and History
  10. Home Science and CRE
  11. Special Needs and P.E.
  12. Music and P.E.
  1. Metal Work and Mathematics
  2. Metal Work and Physics
  3. Woodwork and Mathematics
  4. Woodwork and Physics
  5. Electricity and Mathematics
  6. Electricity and Physics
  7. Fine Arts and History Fine
  8. Art and Geography
  9. Art & Design and History
  10. Art & Design and Geography
  11. Kiswahili and Home science
  12. Kiswahili and PE


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