The Teaching Service Commission proudly presents the Human Resource (HR) Manual for Teachers and School Leaders.
This is an invaluable tool, primarily for teachers, but also for all those who work closely with teachers providing administrative and professional support, including education authorities, school boards, supervisors, and inspectors.
Before the TSC became fully functional in 2018, the teaching profession in Sierra Leone had been neglected for decades. It received a major boost with the launch of the government’s Free Quality School Education (FQSE) policy where H.E President Julius Maada Bio recognised teachers as this country’s ‘greatest asset’.
Since its inception, the government and partners have supported the TSC in its efforts to restore the value of teachers and promote their professional status and economic wellbeing.
As an early step towards setting an agenda for teacher-focused interventions, the Commission conducted a Comprehensive Situation Analysis of Teachers and the Teaching Profession to understand the status of teachers and the challenges facing the profession.
It was followed by the development of a number of tools, most notably: the Professional Standards for Teachers and School Leaders; the Code of Conduct for Teachers; the Grievance Redress Mechanism; and most recently, a set of Harmonised Teacher Policies comprising Registration and Licensing, Teacher Management, Teacher Development and Performance, and Teacher-Employer Relations launched by the Hon. Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Dr David Moinina Sengeh in July, 2020.
The HR Manual is a much welcome complementary tool with enormous practical value in its ‘how to’ approach that every teacher is sure to find useful. The process of developing the manual was research-based, participatory and painstaking, involving lengthy analysis and revisions. The level of care and patience that went into its development truly reflects the value the government places on teachers and the profession. The TSC is indebted to the EU for its support to this initiative through Mr. Jens Gnaur and his team.
The HR Manual will be a brand-new experience for teachers, providing them with the basic tools of the trade. It is designed to inspire and motivate teachers and give them a sense of belonging and pride in the profession. It serves to answer the myriad of questions teachers ask as they navigate their way through the complex maze of working relationships with employers and administrators at school, community, and central levels.
It brings relief to us at the TSC as it encapsulates solutions to the perennial challenges encountered with issues of social security and national registration, prerequisites for recruitment and entry into the government payroll. The manual will potentially reduce the endless traffic of teachers to TSC offices in search of answers, often taking them away from their most important task - teaching. The Commission will therefore ensure that a copy of the manual is secured for every teacher, as a priority, and that it is seen as an integral part of resources for teachers in the government’s budget.
The TSC is committed to orienting school heads, teachers, and potential beneficiaries on the use of the HR Manual. The manual will enhance teachers’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities, introduce positive changes in the execution of their duties, and increase job satisfaction and quality in the teaching workforce.
Staneala M Beckley (PhD)
Chair, Teaching Service Commission