Economy

CBC, recruitment of teachers hit by funding shortfall

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TSC CEO Nancy Macharia. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The Treasury has allocated the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Sh2.5 billion for teacher recruitment in the year starting July despite requesting Sh13.1 billion.
  • The funding shortfall means the commission will not achieve its target of hiring 25,000 teachers and 12,000 interns next financial year amid a biting shortage across the country.

The implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) suffered a setback after the Treasury allocated only Sh1 billion and slashed allocation to the teachers employer by Sh18.7 billion.

The Treasury has allocated the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Sh2.5 billion for teacher recruitment in the year starting July despite requesting Sh13.1 billion.

The funding shortfall means the commission will not achieve its target of hiring 25,000 teachers and 12,000 interns next financial year amid a biting shortage across the country.

“I have proposed an allocation of Sh2.5 billion for recruitment of teachers, Sh1 billion for the CBC, and Sh281.7 billion to the Teachers Service Commission,” said Treasury cabinet secretary Ukur Yatani yesterday in his Budget speech.

The TSC had proposed an allocation of Sh300.5 billion to finance its activities, including hiring more teachers to manage the increased student population under the government’s 100 percent transition from primary school.

For the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination, 1,179,192 pupils sat for the exam and all are expected to join secondary school under the ministry’s zero-wastage policy.

The government started the rollout of the CBC in 2018, introducing disruptive changes that increased the workload for teachers two-fold.

Despite a biting teacher shortage, the tutors have been compelled to take up expanded roles to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Among other measures, keeping the disease at bay requires the close monitoring of learners to see them keep the recommended distance and stop sharing of items like they do during normal times.

The slash in the TSC budget comes amid a push by the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Teachers (Kuppet) to increase the tutors’ pay on increased workload and the rising cost of living.

“With the increased workload and the skyrocketed cost of living, there is absolutely no justification to deny teachers a salary review,” Kuppet secretary-general Akelo Misori said recently.

The rollout of the CBC to Grade Five will be done in July when pupils currently in Grade Four transition to the next class.

The new school calendar shows the 2021 Term One will start on July 26 while the 2022 Term One will start on April 25 of that year before it reverts to its normal January date in 2023.

The government is keen on recovering the 2020 academic year amid the covid-19 pandemic that saw schools shut in March to combat its spread.