Irene Githinji @gitshee
Low budgetary allocation is affecting Teachers Service Commission (TSC) plans to hire at least 155,605 teachers to address staffing gaps in public schools.
Secretary Nancy Macharia said until such a time when the commission will be adequately funded, questions of gaps in teacher recruitment will continue being raised, a situation that has given rise to an over stretched workforce.
Macharia said TSC has 291,635 registered teachers who are yet to be employed from which the 155,605 can be selected.
She said TSC projected to recruit additional 12,696 teachers annually for the next four years in readiness for the 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary but the Sh5 billion the teachers’ employer request is yet to be honoured.
Speaking when she appeared before the National Assembly Education Committee to answer to matters raised by Homa Bay Town MP, Peter Kaluma on teacher-student ratio in public schools yesterday, the CEO also said they have requested for budgetary allocation to hire intern teachers which has not been forthcoming.
“The commission has consistently requested for increased budgetary provisions to employ 20,000 teachers annually. This has not borne much fruit as the National Assembly appropriates Sh2.5 billion annually for recruitment of only 5,000 teachers,” she said.
“We want to recruit more teachers because we are overburdening the current workforce. Homa Bay is a victim of what is going on in the country,” she added.
Macharia also said the teacher-student ratio saying the Commission is not guided by the teacher-pupil ratio to determine teacher shortage but rather its staffing policy.
Education Cabinet secretary, Amina Mohamed told the team that the Ministry was liaising with TSC to resolve the North Eastern and other Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASAL) teacher challenge.
She said 1,200 curriculum assistants will bridge the shortage gap in the next two months adding that the advertisement made on teacher recruitment to these areas is higher than those needed.