The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has announced that it will recruit 5,000 teachers this month to support the 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school policy, now in its second year.
TSC boss Nancy Macharia said the move brings to 12,000 the number of teachers recruited since last year, when the plan was rolled out.
“These teachers will come in handy in supporting this policy, which ensures that all children from primary join secondary schools,” said Mrs Macharia.
The recruitment is expected to cost Sh3 billion. Earlier, National Assembly Education Committee Chairman Julius Melly had indicated that 10,000 teachers would be hired at a cost of Sh5 billion.
On Tuesday, Mrs Macharia met ODM leader Raila Odinga to discuss issues affecting the education sector.
“The CEO of the Teachers Service Commission paid me a courtesy call at Capitol Hill Square, during which we had discussions on issues to do with education and the challenges teachers face,” tweeted Mr Odinga.
Last month, TSC warned of a possible education crisis, unless nearly 70,000 teachers were hired to support the growing student population. Already, more than 80,000 students have reported to secondary schools.
Mrs Macharia said secondary schools require 57,380 teachers, not taking into consideration the shortage occasioned by the 100 per cent transition.
TSC had proposed that 12,626 teachers be recruited annually for four years from 2018, at a cost of Sh8.3 billion per year.
But last year, the commission was given funds to recruit 8,700 teachers this year. Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has announced that the Ministry will provide Sh16 billion for infrastructural development from this month.
Meanwhile, Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary-general Wilson Sossion said: “We cannot talk of quality education when schools have a serious shortage of teachers,” he said.
Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers Secretary-General Akelo Misori regretted that teachers are overburdened, which can compromise the quality of education.
Currently, there are 312,000 teachers in the country, with another 290,000 trained but still unemployed.