Decentralization of teacher management in Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Nicholas Wachira

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Geoff Tennant


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


This study sought to explore how decentral1zation of teacher management is being enacted trom Teachers Service Commission headquarters to county level in Kenya. The decentralization was line with the expectation of the new constitution which was promulgated in 2010. Since the decentralization of teacher management, little is known about how teacher management has been operationalized at county level and how the new roles of county directors, the structures they have adapted, and the strategies they are employing are being enacted. To do it, I adapted both a survey and qualitative methods of data collection. Questionnaires were administered to 100 teachers in two counties, interviews done with two head teachers, two county directors, one senior officer from TSC Headquarters and I analysed relevant documents. Findings of the study suggest that new structures had been put in place to facilitate and coordinate decentralization of teacher management which had brought about new centres of power and authority which stakeholders were still getting used to. At the structure level, it was clear that there were intentions to decentralize teacher management functions to the county level; however, at the implementation level things had not taken the shape envisioned because of lack of adequate personnel and infrastructure among others. It was too early to tell if the envisaged outcomes of decentralization of teacher management would be achieved. Findings also showed that the new structures led to changes in the power matrix and this had led to tensions as people and institutions tried to understand what it was that had changed and what their new role was. Though decentralization was at its infancy stages, the implementation seemed slow and it is therefore recommended that TSC addresses the pertinent challenges such as inadequate basic resources so as to speed up the process of decentralization of teacher management to the county level.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library