Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has announced 11,574 vacancies for public primary and secondary teachers to support government’s 100 per cent transition policy.
Of these, 6,100 will be deployed in secondary schools and 6,474 in primary schools. The commission said 4,000 are new vacancies in secondary schools while 1,100 will be recruited to replace teachers who have exited the service. But 1,000 will be promoted from primary to secondary schools.
Those applying for places in secondary schools must have a minimum of a diploma in education.
To qualify for promotion from primary to secondary schools, applicants must be holders of a P1 certificate and bachelors degree in education with two teaching subjects. Successful candidates in this category will be employed at T-Scale 7, Grade C2 under the career progression guidelines.
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For primary schools, 1,000 are new vacancies while 5,474 will be replacements for those who have left the service.
TSC chief executive officer Nancy Macharia (pictured) said those hired and deployed in public primary schools and should be ready to serve in any part of the country, not necessarily where they were recruited.
“Interested teachers should apply online not later than 14th of this month and must have registered with TSC. They will be employed on permanent and pensionable terms of service. Manual applications will not be accepted and preference will be given to those who have not been previously employed by TSC,” Dr Macharia said.
TSC had also budgeted for another 5,000 tutors in its 2020/2021 financial proposals presented to Parliament in June.
Though the recruitment is expected to help reduce the national annual teacher shortage which stands at 100,000, government needs to hire more teachers to be able to cater for smaller classes in the wake of the coronavirus.
According to Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, when schools re-open, each class will have 15 or 20 learners as recommended by World Health Organisation and UNICEF to allow for social distancing in classes.
The 15 learners per class is also one of the recommendations by the Ministry of Health on managing the virus. The current 330,000 on TSC payroll plus the 20,000 interns can only teach 5,250,000 learners. This means on any given day, going by the current number of teachers, 6,650,000 learners will not be attended to.
This means to keep the 11.9 million primary and secondary school learners engaged, the ideal number of teachers required is 400,961. There are about 330,000 teachers registered by TSC but are unemployed.
In its proposal to Parliament on budget estimates for the 2020/2021 financial year, TSC said it requires Sh15.4 billion to hire 25,000 teachers.
“The commission projects recruitment of 40,000 interns at a total cost of Sh4.8 billion and normal recruitment of 25,000 teachers at a total cost of Sh15.4 billion. The financing gap stands at Sh17 billion per year,” Macharia said.
She said recruitment of 5,000 additional teachers under the 100 per cent transition programme requires Sh2 billion, recruitment of 10,000 intern teachers needs Sh1.2 billion while training on Competency-based Curriculum (CBC) requires Sh1 billion. “These funds are far short of the requirement. The funds are estimated to employ 5,000 new teachers for seven months and 10,000 interns for nine months. Our total proposed allocation for the financial year 2020/21 is Sh265 billion. The largest portion of this fund shall be used to pay salaries and allowances to both teachers and secretariat staff,” Macharia said.
Out of the Sh260 billion the commission was allocated, she said Sh262 billion is for compensation to employees. TSC got half of the total allocation of Sh505.2 billion given to the education sector in this financial year.
Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has urged TSC to hire more teachers on permanent and pensionable terms. Secretary General Wilson Sossion said this is the only way to address the deficit and ensure learners have enough teachers when schools re-open.
Knut said there are 50,000-odd teachers under the high risk aged 55 years and above. This is the group that requires the Ministry of Education to come up with guidelines on how they will be maintained in employment. [The writer is a 2019/2020 Bertha Fellow]