Interviews for new 10,000 principals, headmasters and deputies in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions will start on February 20.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) said the interviews will be conducted in Kisii, Kisumu, Kakamega, Eldoret, Nakuru, Embu, Machakos, Nyeri, Nairobi and Mombasa.
A total of 20,057 teachers applied for the positions, which will see them promoted to Job Groups K, M and N.
The positions were previously filled through direct appointments, which created opportunities for abuse by the hiring teams.
The new recruitment policy was launched last year after the TSC stopped promoting teachers based on the number of years in service.
“The shortlisted candidates include primary school headteachers and deputies serving in job group G and H who have acquired a Bachelors of Education degree. Others are teachers, deputies and headteachers in job group L who are being interviewed for posts in job group M and N,” said Mr Kihumba Kamotho of the commission’s communication department.
He said that the shortlisting criteria had taken into account the constitutional requirements of merit, regional and gender balance and sought to assure the teachers that the interviews would be fair and transparent.
The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that was signed last year between the teachers’ unions and the TSC states that teachers can only be promoted on the basis of their performance in school and not experience.
“In recognition of the fundamental shift in policy in public employment and with a view to promote, enhance and maintain high performance standards in the teaching service, parties hereby agree to ensure continuous professional development and annual performance evaluation system,” the CBA says.
It says that an annual performance evaluation will be undertaken by the TSC using tools developed with the participation of the unions.
Thousands of teachers have invested heavily in education with almost all universities running programmes during holidays to accommodate them.
Previously teachers were opposed to a performance appraisal programme that was started in January 2016.
On Wednesday, Wilson Sossion, the secretary-general of the Kenya National Union of Teachers, said the promotion of should not stop the TSC from hiring more.
“Promotion is a right and we expect TSC to hire more teachers so that we can solve this problem of shortages,” Mr Sossion said on telephone.