alexa Plan to hire 28,000 teachers hits snag - Daily Nation

Plan to hire 28,000 teachers hits snag

Monday August 29 2011

FILE | NATION Knut chairman Wilson Sossion (left) and secretary-general David Okuta Osiany at a past press conference in Nairobi. Mr Sossion warned of a strike if  no action is taken to tackle the shortage of teachers

FILE | NATION Knut chairman Wilson Sossion (left) and secretary-general David Okuta Osiany at a past press conference in Nairobi. Mr Sossion warned of a strike if no action is taken to tackle the shortage of teachers 

By Benjamin Muindi [email protected]

The Treasury has failed to set aside funds to recruit 28,000 more teachers promised by the Education ministry this year.

This means schools will continue to face the biting shortage of teachers at least for another year.

The Appropriations Bill, to be tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, shows that the Treasury has made a provision of Sh2.4 billion as salaries for the 18,060 contract teachers.

The contract teachers will, therefore, not be elevated to permanent and pensionable workers.

It is a big blow to Parliament’s Budget Committee that had recommended that 28,000 teachers be employed on permanent and pensionable terms by absorbing the 18,060 intern teachers and an additional 10,000 new teachers be recruited.

This would have cost the government Sh5 billion.

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But according to the Appropriations Bill accessed by the Nation, only Sh2.4 billion has been re-allocated to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and has been marked as salaries for the 18,060 temporary teachers.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) warned that if Parliament passes the Bill without considering the matter of hiring the new teachers, then their earlier call for a strike would be certain.

“It is a big blow to the education sector as the number of learners continue growing yet the government has not employed new teachers to match the ratio,” said Knut chairman Wilson Sossion.

In June, Knut called off a strike it had planned after Treasury promised to resolve the issue of funds to hire new tutors through re-allocation of funds from other ministries.

“We had proposed a total of Sh8 billion be re-allocated from the Ministry of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 and directed to the TSC for employment of teachers,” Mr Sossion said.

TSC had stated that the shortage of teachers stood at 75,000 in both primary and secondary schools, where spiralling enrolment stands at 9.4 million and 1.7 million learners respectively.

“The employment of additional teachers was supposed to be one of the government flagship projects by the year 2011, so that schools do not suffer crowding in the classrooms,” Mr Sossion added.

“The non-allocation of funds for key projects in the sector will affect the quality of education and we are now left with no choice if Parliament approves the Appropriations Bill but to take to the streets.”

Knut had given a September 1 ultimatum for the government to allocate the funds after talks with Treasury and TSC had started to resolve the funding crisis.

“We had entered into talks with the Treasury and Parliament as it was the only logical way of coming up with a solution to the problem,” Mr Sossion said.