Seven tribes scooped almost all new teaching jobs

TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia (left) before the Senate Committee on National Cohesion and Regional Integration on May 30, 2023. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Seven communities got almost 90 per cent of the 20,990 teaching jobs recently awarded.

A Teachers Service Commission (TSC) audit shows that Kalenjin, Luhya, Kikuyu, Kamba, Luo, Kisii and Meru communities dominated the list of the new teachers.

The seven communities got 18,580 jobs, which translates to 88.5 per cent. Teachers hired from the Kalenjin community were 4,040, while the Luhya were 3,187.

TSC recruited 2,913 from the Kikuyu community, 2,576 luo, while Kisii and Meru got 1,737 and 1,220 slots respectively.

The smaller communities were allocated fewer positions, with some not receiving a single slot.

In the details revealed when TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia appeared before the Senate Committee on National Cohesion and Regional Integration on Tuesday, people with disabilities got 229 places.

Overall, TSC hired 36,000 teachers, but the report was based on the 20,990 who are already on payroll.

The report shows that the Mijikenda community got 500 slots, Maasai 461, Pokot 312, Taita Taveta 232, Teso 105 and Kuria 108.

Samburu, Turkana, Tharaka, Somali, Boran Gabra, Mbeere, Pokomo and Bajun received between and 100 teachers.  

The Kenyan Arab, Ogaden, Elmolo, Dorobo, Rendille, Oromo and Sakuye received between one and two slots.

The Senate committee demanded a transparent, inclusive and equal distribution of teachers in all counties to reflect nationality.

Dr Macharia defended the move, explaining that teachers were distributed according to the availability of classes in each sub-county.

‘‘The government policy was to post a teacher in each class for junior secondary and that is what we did. The vacancies were announced and those who applied were shortlisted as per the availability of space in those Counties,’’ she said.

She said the country faces a shortage of 111,870 teachers (47,329 in primary and 64,541 in secondary), which requires a budget of Sh74 billion.

However, she revealed that 20,000 will be employed in the next financial year.

Last week, the Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago expressed concerns on the poor distribution of employment patterns of teachers. He claimed some communities were favoured.

Dr Macharia explained that the Commission has over the years geared towards equal distribution of teachers taking into account, among other factors, budgetary provision, demand and supply, and existing establishment.

She said that the commission has urged the government for enhanced budgetary allocation for recruitment of additional teachers, engagement of intern teachers and recruitment of teachers on contractual terms in arid and semi-arid areas.

On gender parity, the TSC revealed that out of the 36,000 teachers who were recruited, 15,552 were women, representing 43 per cent, while 20,448 were men. Those employed were aged 21 and 56, with the majority being 28 years old.

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