TSC to hire 70,000 contract teachers as national teachers' strike continues

Ngara Girls students, from L-R Ivy Gateri, Everlyne Kiragu, Mar Mutheu and Josephine Tariya reherse for their Music practicals when they arrived at St. Georges Girls. Ngara Girls Music class join St. Georges yearly for Music practical exams.The KCSE started on Monday amidst protests from the Kenya National Union of Teachers for increment of 50%-60% salaries. (PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE/STANDARD)

The Government has started recruiting 70,000 teachers on contract basis to be posted to public primary and secondary schools across the country.

Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia said 50,000 teachers will be posted to primary schools and the other 20,000 to secondary schools to stand in for the striking teachers.

"The teachers will be hired on a three-month contract and will thereafter be considered on priority basis for employment on permanent terms when vacancies arise," said Macharia.

"Interested candidates have been asked to submit their applications together with certified copies of certificates, transcripts, testimonials and national identification cards to the TSC County Directors of their respective homes counties," said Macharia, adding that applications must be submitted by October 5, 2015. Applicants must be trained teachers aged 45 years and below.

Candidates seeking to apply for primary slots, TSC says, must be P1 holders while those applying to teach in secondary school should have at least a diploma certificate.

"Applicants must not fill employment forms in more than one station as this will lead to disqualification," said Macharia.

KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion, however, termed the new development "primitive" and wondered where TSC will get money to pay the new teachers.

"That is a primitive action. The best thing TSC can do is to pay teachers and unlock the strike. We are not moved in fact they should hire 100,000 in addition to the 288,000 so that we have enough teachers," said Sossion.

He added: "Where did they get the money to hire 70,000 if they cannot get Sh 1.4 billion to pay existing staff?" Sossion asked.

Hire retirees

KUPPET Secretary General Akelo Misori said he supports the hiring of the teachers, if TSC is doing it to beef the existing numbers. But he asked: "Why have they not told them how much they will pay? Or do they want to employ slaves?" Misori posed.

The development comes as Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) instructed Ministry of Education and County Directors to recruit teachers in private schools to assist with the administration of this year's examinations.

KNEC Chief Executive Officer Joseph Kivilu also instructed the directors to hire teachers who retired less than five years ago as an immediate measure to ensure this year's examinations run smoothly.

Public officers drawn from national and county governments who meet the KNEC guidelines will also be recruited to ensure the ongoing teachers' strike does not paralyse examinations.

"This communication gives you the authority to recruit and deploy supervisors and invigilators who will be involved in the administration of the 2015 national examinations and in addition to those available in the existing database," reads the circular.