The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) plans to hire at least 95,000 new teachers over the next five years.
The commission will spend a chuck of the Sh114 billion it has set aside for projects in its strategic plan to employ additional teachers.
TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia said part of the Sh82 billion would be used to recruit 100,000 interns between next year and 2023.
Dr Macharia said by June 30 last year, the commission estimated a teacher shortage of 96,345 out of which 38,054 were for primary level.
She attributed the shortage to rapid growth in school enrollment and various initiatives in the education sector that had necessitated establishment of new schools and expansion of existing ones.
“These initiatives include Government’s policy of 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary. By 2023, the teacher shortage is projected to be 61,671 for secondary school and 34,941 for primary,” Machairia said during the launch of the 2019/2023 strategic plan.
She said the plan provided an effective implementation and coordination in terms of human and financial resource allocation. “The overall budget required for the successful delivery of planned targets is estimated at Sh114.5 billion. This includes the cost of recruiting 95,000 additional teachers and 20,000 interns per year in the next five years. The estimated cost for this critical investment is Sh82.4 billion,” Macharia said.
She said her commission required Sh16.4 billion each year to recruit additional teachers for the next four years and Sh8.1 billion in the fifth year, plus an additional Sh2.8 billion over and above the existing allocations.
Macharia said the roll-out of the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC), free primary, free day secondary education and the 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school would continue to push the demand for teachers up.
“In addition, TSC envisages increasing the number of qualified teachers by at least 30 per cent with focus on Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM),” Macharia said.
To facilitate the 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school, Macharia said TSC had recruited 8,700 post-primary school teachers. She said that was a major shift in Government policy in teacher recruitment, which necessitated reallocation of resources in favour of secondary school teachers.
“Additionally, we need to recruit and deploy additional teachers to address the existing teacher shortage at all levels,” Macharia said.
To build the capacity of teachers, TSC intends to train 200,000 over the five years.
She observed that as a measure to cope with the teacher shortage, various boards of management of institutions had engaged approximately 80,000 teachers in public schools, some who might not be qualified.
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“This has compromised the standards of education and learner achievement and also undermined Government’s commitment to free and affordable basic education,” Macharia said.
To cure this, she said, the TSC plan provides for strategies that will optimally utilise available teaching resource.
“This may include use of alternative modes of curriculum delivery. In addition, the commission will be required to consider hiring teachers on part-time basis and formalise teacher internship programme as some of the measures to bridge the gap,” Macharia said.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, who was present, said: “The commission is the largest public service employer in our country. With 320,000 staff, TSC cannot afford to operate in an environment that isn’t well structured and planned.”
Prof Magoha said the Government was making every effort to ensure there were adequate teachers to handle increasing enrollment in schools.
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“The success of CBC will heavily depend on how TSC manages continuous training and supervision teachers,” the minister said.
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