TSC floats 5,000 jobs to ease burden on teachers

Moi Nyeri Complex Primary pupils prepare for the KCPE exam early this month . The government plans to employ more primary and secondary school teachers. Joseph  Kanyi
Moi Nyeri Complex Primary pupils prepare for the KCPE exam early this month . The government plans to employ more primary and secondary school teachers. Joseph Kanyi 

Five thousand more teachers will be employed by next year as the government moves to ease the workload of teachers in primary and secondary schools.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has advertised jobs for 2,805 primary school teachers and 2,195 teachers for secondary schools to fulfil its promise of increasing instructors in the schools by the start of next year.

“The TSC is advertising 2,805 posts for recruitment of primary school teachers,” the employer said in a notice on Friday.

The government is seeking to bridge the short supply of teachers in public schools after teachers went on strike last month asking the government to reduce their burden.

The quarterly economic and budgetary review from the Ministry of Finance shows that spending on the Ministry of Education in the first quarter of 2011/2012 increased by Sh4.6 billion, including recruitment expenditure.

Primary and secondary schools have come under pressure from increased number of pupils thanks to the free primary education and subsidised secondary education. Teachers and the government brokered a deal early this month to end a week-long strike called to press for employment of teachers who were on contract and the recruitment of 10,000 more. The truce saw the 18,060 teachers absorbed on a permanent basis and a pledge made to employment 5,000 more teachers by January 2012 and a further 5,000 in 2013. Up to Sh6 billion would have been required to employ the 28,000 teachers at a go.

Kakamega County will get 244 primary school teachers teachers with Bungoma county getting 166 new teachers.

TSC advised teachers to apply for the posts in any county depending on the availability of their suitable positions in order to tap into a wide pool of talent.

TSC said it would give preference to teachers who have never worked for the government before, raising expectations of employment for teachers from private colleges who have been looking for jobs.

The employment of new teachers is expected to enhance the quality of education delivered to pupils by lowering the teacher student ratio which stands at 1:60 against a recommended 1:42.

The recruitment is expected to add more demands to the treasury at a time when tax revenues are falling below target.

The strike by Knut followed Parliament’s move to pass a Bill to allow the government to withdraw money for ministries from the Consolidated Fund without any provision for the recruitment of teachers. (READ: Strike jolts schools as exam season draws closer)

The teachers action came at the beginning of the third and final term of the school year, in which both Form Four and Standard Eight candidates sat national exams.

The umbrella bodies had met with the Budget committee of Parliament during their public fora which had agreed to have the Budget estimates revised to have Sh7.4 billion set aside to cater for the employment of teachers on contract, recruitment of new ones to bridge a deficit in the teacher/student ratio and streamlining of the early childhood education programme (ECD) for nursery schools.

However, the revised allocations did not provide for the hiring of teachers despite increases in the votes for the Department of Defence and for Parliament.

The ECD programme would have cost Sh1.8 billion.

Kenya’s teacher student ratio has been deviating from that recommended by the following a freeze to hiring under the World Bank driven structural adjustment programmes.

The government had in 2010 engaged graduate teachers on contract to minimise on statutory payments such as pension and health even as the TSC said it was facing a shortage of 75,000 teachers.