The Teachers Service Commission on Monday, August 31, 2020, announced 11,574 vacancies for public primary and secondary teachers to bridge the deficit in workforce and aid in 100 per cent transition.
Of the new vacancies announced, 6,100 of the recruits will be deployed in secondary schools and 6,474 in primary schools. The TSC also said that 4,000 of the teachers to be recruited will be from new vacancies in the secondary schools. 1,000 will be taken in to replace colleagues who have retired from the service. Another 1,000 of them will comprise colleagues promoted from primary teachers to the secondary ones.
Those who will be applying for the chances in secondary schools are required to have at least a diploma. Those eyeing promotion to the secondary schools are also required to have P1 certificate, Bachelor’s Degree in Education with specialty in at least two subjects.
Part of those being hired in primary school include 1,000 fresh teachers 1,000 and 5,474 coming to replace those who have retired or left teaching.
In an advert, TSC boss Dr. Nancy Macharia said successful applicants would be employed on permanent and pensionable basis.
“Interested teachers should apply online not later than 14th of this month and must have registered with TSC. They will be employed on permanent and pensionable terms of service. Manual applications will not be accepted and preference will be given to those who have not been previously employed by TSC,” she said.
The recruitment comes as the government struggles with preparations to reopen schools in strict conformity with the health guidelines. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF have recommended that schools take in 15 to 20 learners per class room to effect the social distancing rules. This would be a challenge to Kenya because the Ministry of Education will be forced to dig deeper into its pocket to hire more teachers to plug in the deficit personnel. And with only 330,000 teachers in public schools being on TSC books; over 6 million children could be left unattended since the workforce can only match over 5 million learners.
The government also faces the urgent need to roll out the Competency-Based Curriculum which has so far started in the primary school levels.
The recruitment seems to be a drop in the ocean as the country currently needs at least 100,000 teacher recruitment to bridge the gap fully.
Teachers’ unions Knut and Kuppet have always demanded more recruitment of teachers over the years. That plea was honored in October 2015, when TSC advertised to employ 70,000 teachers only for the court to issue orders barring the exercise.
The commission had intended to hire 50,000 primary and 20,000 secondary school teachers on a three-month basis after teachers in service went on strike demanding salary increment among other benefits.
Trade Union Congress Kenya (TUC-K) headed to court and challenged the recruitment claiming it was to hoodwink striking teachers to drop their demands for more salary and other benefits. The Employment and Labour Relations Court ordered teachers back to class as it also stopped the recruitment of temporary ones.