The Teachers Service Commission, TSC, has been given a go ahead to lay down strategies on how about 87,000 intern teachers will be hired to plug the teething shortages at public schools. While appearing before the National Assembly’s Education Committee yesterday, TSC Chief Executive Officer, Dr Nancy Njeri Macharia, told the legislators that about 87,000 intern teachers were required to ease the workload burden on the existing teaching staff. “We need these interns so that they can help us in addressing the shortage as we look for money to hire teachers on permanent terms,” Dr Macharia told the Committee. She requested the Committee to increase the Commission’s annual budget by Kshs. 27.6 billion this year; from the current Kshs 226 billion to 253.6 billion, so as to enable them recruit new teachers, promote those who are due for promotions and to implement the third phase phase of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, CBA. The TSC CEO told the Legislators that a total of 3,296 teachers who have recently attained higher qualifications are due for promotions. She said 1,650 teachers have graduated with Bachelors of Education Degrees, 11 have attained post graduate diplomas, 4 have doctorates and 1,635 more have attained Masters degrees. This number is, however, lower than that quoted by KNUT. The Union projects the number at over 12,000. Read more details here:Over 12,000 teachers who attained higher qualifications are yet to be promoted- KNUT
According to the TSC boss, of the Kshs. 27.6 billion requested; Kshs 13 billion will be used to implement the CBA in July, 2019. A further Kshs 3.9 billion would go into promoting teachers and effecting yearly salary increments. KShs. 6.5 billion will be used to recruit 10,000 teachers on permanent basis while, Kshs 3.5 billion will be for staff replacements.
A TSC proposal to employ teachers on contract terms has in the past received fierce opposition from both the Kenya National Union of Teachers, KNUT, and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, KUPPET. But, yesterday the two unions seemed to be warming up to the proposal. The KNUT Secretary General, who is also an ODM (Orange Democratic Movement) nominated Member of Parliament and a member of the Education Committee, gave the proposal a thumbs up but warned that the terms of engagement for the intern teachers must be in line with the Labour laws. “If the interns will not be automatically absorbed, then we shall oppose the initiative,” warned Sossion.
The Hon Julius Melly chaired Education Committee approved Dr Macharia’s request and told TSC to develop a policy framework; spelling out the terms of recruitment for the interns and which will be tabled in parliament for approval. Hon Mell, who is also a Member of Parliament for Tinderet Constituency, directed Dr Macharia to present the policy frame work to the by Monday 25th February, 2019 so as to be presented to Parliament’s Budget and Appropriations Committee. Hon Sossion was quick to give a caution, though, that the policy must clearly spell out timelines for the intern teachers to be absorbed permanently. “The policy must state that once teachers graduate they shall be absorbed as interns and also state that they shall work for a certain period of time after which they will be automatically employed on permanent basis,” advised Hon Sossion.
on her part, Dr Macharia said the about 100,000 teachers working in secondary schools can not cope with the increased workload; which has been occasioned by the influx of learners through the government’s 100 percent transition policy. According to the TSC boss, secondary schools require an additional 49,750 more teachers, while primary schools are in need of 37,643 teachers. This brings the total teacher requirement to 87,393 as at now.
When the Commission last employed teachers on contract basis, it was paying Kshs 14,000 for those in Secondary schools and Kshs 10,500 for their counterparts in Primary schools. The Commission is currently recruiting a total of 5,000 teachers in Secondary schools to mitigate the staffing gaps due to the 100 percent transition that has stretched both the physical and human resources. The Education Ministry says the transition from primary to secondary schools, this year, has hit 92 percent countrywide. Records at the TSc indicate that Kakamega, Kitui and Bungoma lead other counties with the highest shortages of teachers at both public primary and secondary schools. The MPs told TSC to consider counties that are most understaffed when advertising new vacancies.