As a result of recent revelations that talks are taking place between the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and the Presidency on the prospect of recruiting 58,000 in the current financial year, there is hope for thousands of unemployed teachers.
If successful, the recruitment will fulfill a campaign promise by President William Ruto to hire 116,000 new teachers within two years to address the critical deficit in the country’s public education system.
That would bring the total number of teachers on the government payroll to 400 000, making it the largest teacher recruitment in history.
This information was revealed by TSC boss Nancy Macharia yesterday during celebrations to honor World Teachers Day at the Kenya School of Government in Nairobi, Kenya.
However, she did not reveal when exactly recruitment will begin or end.
“Consultations are ongoing with the Presidency on teacher recruitment and we shall be giving (updates of the) progress as we go along. Be assured that the Kenyan teacher can only expect good things going forward. We shall be telling you how to go on with this recruitment as per the Kenya Kwanza Charter,” Dr Macharia said.
Dr. Ruto promised to “guarantee that the existing teacher gap of 116,000 is adequately bridged within two financial years by employing 58,000 teachers at a cost of Sh25 billion per year” in the education charter he signed in June with stakeholders in the education sector.
Macharia called on the new teachers to remain committed, owing to the fact they will be delivering three national examinations; KCPE, KCSE and KPSEA, which are scheduled to start in November this year.
“As we celebrate the teachers today, we are also cognizant of the fact that the staff are also busy preparing for one of the busiest national examination periods in our country, granted that we will be administering three national examinations –, KCPE, KCSE and, for the first time, the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) for Grade Six,” she said.
The chairman of the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha), Indimuli Kahi, had earlier at yesterday’s event urged the President to fulfill on his promise.
Mr. Kahi added by saying that public schools were severely understaffed, forcing governing boards to recruit teachers to cover the affected subjects.
“The President gave me a signed copy of that charter. I’d like to remind him that he promised to employ half of the shortfall in his first financial year,” he added.
Akello Misori, general secretary of the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers, also demanded action to address the shortage of teachers.
More than 356 000 unemployed teachers tried their luck for the 14,460 teaching positions posted by the TSC during the recent recruitment drive in July.
The teaching positions available at post-primary schools received the highest number of applicants; a total of 219,311 teachers expressed interest in the 4,000 positions that were available.
There were 1,000 open positions for primary school teachers, and the commission received 136,833 applications.
Mr Kahi and Mr Misori also asked the government to provide a safe environment for teachers to work in, noting that insecurity had forced teachers to stay away from such regions.