The Teachers Service Commission bowed to pressure and suspended indefinitely interviews for 20,057 teachers, which were set to start on Monday.
In a statement, the commission’s head of communication Kamotho Kihumba said the interviews had been on hold due to logistical and technical hitches.
The interviews were for job group K, L, M and N – which were advertised in September last year.
“All the applicants for the positions will be informed of the next course of action as soon as this is sorted out,” Mr Kihumba said.
A total of 10,000 principals, head teachers and deputies in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions were to be promoted.
The interviews were to be conducted in Kisii, Kisumu, Kakamega, Eldoret, Nakuru, Embu, Machakos, Nyeri, Nairobi and Mombasa.
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 commission stopped promoting teachers based on the number of years in service.
On Friday, teacher’s union leaders welcomed the suspension.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers Nairobi branch executive secretary Moses Mbora said the commission should go back to the previous list of applicants and ensure that only qualified candidates are shortlisted.
“We have teachers who have served in one job group for close to 10 years yet they had been left out,” Mr Mbora said, adding that those who had stagnated in the same position were demoralised.
Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary-general Wilson Sossion said the exercise had been interfered with and those with the right qualifications had been ignored.
“We ought not to be talking about interviews for teachers who are supposed to move to the next level. The promotion is supposed to be automatic not an interview of 15 minutes,” Mr Sossion said.