Current shortage in primary schools stands at 37,643 while that in secondary schools is at 49,750.
Kakamega County is leading in shortage of teachers in both primary and secondary schools, a report tabled in the National Assembly shows.
The report by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) indicates the county has a shortage of 3,070 teachers in primary schools and 3,338 in secondary schools. Other counties with shortages in primary schools include West Pokot (2,158), Narok (2,238), Kitui (2,514), Bungoma (2,416), Kilifi (1,886), Murang’a (1,854), Siaya (1,263), Migori (1,232) and Bomet (1,522).
The data indicates there are currently 216,517 teachers in primary schools and 100,493 in secondary schools.
TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia told the National Assembly’s Education committee, chaired by Julius Melly, there are 309,000 trained teachers who are unemployed.
Mrs Macharia noted the current shortage in primary schools stands at 37,643 while that in secondary schools is at 49,750.
MPs asked the TSC to bridge the huge gap. Malava MP Malulu Injendi said the focus should be to bridge the gap to less than 1,000 teachers, warning such huge shortages will compromise quality of education.
The MPs also called for a review of the policy on recruitment of teachers in order to ensure equity, a request Mrs Macharia promised to look at.
She said the commission strives to ensure each county gets teachers whenever there is a recruitment exercise.
TSC requires 12,626 teachers annually to actualise the 100 per cent transition in 2019.
The commission has since asked for an additional Sh27 billion to hire more teachers and pay the annual salary increment.
The commission wants its budget raised from Sh226 billion to Sh253.6 billion. Mrs Macharia said allocations for recruitment of teachers are never enough and asked for funds to hire 80,000 intern teachers to plug shortages.
“We need these interns so that they can help us in addressing the shortage as we look for money to hire teachers on permanent terms,” she said.
MPs approved her request for interns and asked her to prepare a policy document and give it to them before Monday.
Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Wilson Sossion asked the government to take seriously the crisis of teachers’ shortage, saying the quality of education could not be realised with no teachers.
“We have to relook at the process of deploying teachers in schools to ensure equality. Some schools have less teachers, others have more,” said Mr Sossion.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) chairman Omboko Milemba said the government has enough resources to employ more teachers.
“Our teachers are overworked and that is why the government must do all it can to employ more teachers to ease this burden,” said Mr Milemba.
MPs also raised concerns over the many years trainee teachers are taking before getting employment.
Education Principal Secretary Bellio Kipsang admitted the shortage of teachers is undermining the 100 per cent transition policy in the country.
“I agree we need more teachers in our schools for better service delivery,” said Dr Kipsang.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education is on the spot over its plan to spend Sh4.7billion on renovation of 27 P1 teachers training colleges and three diploma colleges despite the decline in number of students.
MPs questioned the ministry’s rationale to use the resources yet thousands of students coming from those institutions are not getting employment on time.
However, Dr Kipsang insisted that the government will continue to train teachers despite the decline in the number of those joining the profession.
MPs asked Dr Kipsang to channel the resources to development of infrastructures in schools so that students can benefit instead of putting up buildings that are not in use.
Surprisingly, the report shows Lamu, usually classified as one of the most marginalised counties, has enough teachers. The county has 950 teachers.
Counties that are adequately staffed in primary schools are Uasin Gishu, Nyandarua, Lamu, Isiolo, Embu, Nairobi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Laikipia and Samburu with each having a deficit of less than 100 teachers.
The report shows that counties experiencing serious shortages in secondary schools include Nakuru (2,232), Kisii (2,472), Bomet (1,825), Bungoma (2,720), Busia (1,236), Homabay (2,276), Kericho (1,245), Kitui (2,025), Trans Nzoia (1,455), Nandi (1,338), Machakos (1,978) and Makueni (2,004).
Counties that are well staffed in the secondary schools’ section include Isiolo which has a shortage of only 36 teachers, Wajir, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Marsabit, Lamu, Samburu and Mombasa among others.
By OUMA WANZALA More by this Author
powered by Surfing Waves
Kenya News, Latest Kenya Weekly News Online, News from and about Kenya. Politics, Kenya Tourism News, Kenyan Diaspora News, Government News
(c) KenyaWebNews.com 2019