The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is planning to hire 15,000 secondary school teachers – some 5,000 annually – in the next 3 years.
The commission, however, states it has no plans to recruit primary school tutors, throwing into uncertainty the fate of thousands of unemployed P1 certificate holders.
In efforts to fill staffing gaps in schools, TSC will also employ the services of 5,500 interns on a one-year contract each year.
Details of the plans contained in the Programme-Based Budget 2021 estimates that also confirm TSC as one of the greatest beneficiaries of funding from the exchequer.
The commission has been allocated Sh281.7 billion for the 2021/22 financial year, up from the Sh266 billion it got in the current year.
TSC has over the years struggled to address staffing shortages in schools. Even with the planned recruitment of teachers, it will still be way short of optimal levels. In the recent past, staff pay has taken up 99.4 percent of the money received by TSC.
Curiously, TSC does not refer to any provision for a new pay deal with the teachers.
TSC intends to deploy 5,000 teachers to secondary schools as institutions are expected to face a bigger shortage. About 3,500 interns will also be posted to secondary schools.
The same number of interns will be engaged in each of the next two years. Primary schools will not get new teachers as the phasing out of the 8-4-4 system is expected to reduce the workload since learners will move to secondary school after Grade Six under the competency-based curriculum (CBC).
Only 2,000 interns will be posted to primary schools every year leaving thousands of unemployed teachers who hold the P1 certificate in uncertainty as the government is also doing away with the qualification.
Teacher training colleges (TTCs) will from this year launch a three-year diploma course in teacher education that is aligned to the CBC. For tertiary institutions, only 67 tutors will be hired during the financial year and 68 others the following year.
The internship program began in 2019. Many enlisted in the hope of getting permanent jobs when vacancies are announced. A primary school intern receives a monthly stipend of Sh15,000 while a secondary school one is given Sh20,000.
There will be a double intake in January 2023 when the first CBC cohort transitions to junior secondary school while the last 8-4-4 pupils – currently in Std 5 – will also report for Form One. Secondary schools will have 5 classes instead of 4 that year.
When the CBC is completely implemented, secondary schools will have 6 classes – three for junior and 3 for senior. Primary schools will have two less than the current eight.
The commission estimates that in the next 3 years, about Sh273 billion would be required in 2021/22, Sh274.7 billion in 2022/23, and Sh279.3 billion in 2023/24 financial years to fund teachers salaries.