Secondary school heads have asked the government to recruit at least 40,000 new teachers this financial year to mitigate the biting shortage across the country.
This means the government will have to hire an additional 30,000 teachers to boost the 10,000 whose recruitment it provided funds for in this year’s budget.
“Treasury should treat the teachers shortage crisis as a priority and source for more funds to recruit at least 40,000 teachers this financial year,” they stated in one of the key resolutions made at their 37th Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association meeting that ended on Friday at Wildwaters, Mombasa.
The resolutions were read by KSSHA national secretary Lonah Mumelo during the closing ceremony presided over by Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
In their recommendations that touched on a wide range of issues affecting the education sector, the headteachers also called for an overhaul of the secondary school curriculum “to make it responsive to the prevailing and emerging social, technological and economic needs as well as promote patriotism, national values and character development.”
The headteachers also appeared to have softened their stance on performance appraisals.
The heads said they would embrace the work output evaluation exercise but the government had to first address their concerns on how it should be carried out.
“We support performance-based appraisals if the government provides an enabling environment for principals to perform,” they stated.
Friday's announcement is expected to rekindle talks between them and their employer, the Teachers Service Commission, on how to the implement the performance appraisals.
The delegates, in an apparent appreciation of the winds of change sweeping through the education with the passing of the new Teachers Service Commission Bill, which now awaits presidential assent, made other recommendations meant to streamline management of the education sector.
These include calls for the fast tracking of the Education Bill, Kenya National Examination Council Bill and Kenya Institute of Education Bill to ensure they are in place before the General Election.
The heads also threw their weight behind the soon-to-be constituted Teachers Service Commission and said the new team should be allowed to execute its mandate independently.
On free secondary education funding, the heads urged the government to increase the amount allocated for every student to Sh30,795 per year and honour the 50:30:20 formula for staggered disbursement of the money to ensure smooth running of school programme.