About 15,000 primary school teachers are set for promotions by the end of this month, Teachers Service Commission chief executive officer Nancy Macharia revealed on Wednesday.
The TSC has lined up about 4,000 principals in job group N and 6,000 teachers for the new promotions, with Sh2.2 billion allocated for the exercise.
“Promotion of teachers is one of the key functions of TSC which is important for career progression and motivation in teaching,” said Ms Macharia. “We will continue to lobby for more funds to promote as many teachers as possible, in line with the various schemes of service applicable in the teaching service.”
Ms Macharia was addressing primary school headteachers during their ongoing annual conference at the Sheikh Zayed Children’s Centre in Mombasa.
Another 5,500 teachers who took the Teacher Proficiency Course in April will receive their promotion letters later in the month, she said, adding that most in this category will be promoted from P1 to AT IV and from AT IV to AT III.
More positions will be advertised in the next two months, Mrs Macharia added and urged teachers to apply for the promotions.
“I expect that those who meet the set criteria will apply and prepare adequately for the interviews,” said Mrs Macharia. “Also, make a point of regularly visiting the TSC website for updates on promotion opportunities.”
On teacher shortages, the top TSC official said primary schools had a shortfall of 39,913 teachers and secondary schools 47,576, making it a total of 87,489.
“Staffing of schools has continued to be the commission’s key challenge despite the fact that the government employs 5,000 teachers every year,” said Ms Macharia, who pointed out that the number of schools had increased owing to the government’s policy of working to achieve and sustain optimum enrolment in public schools.
Ms Macharia urged headteachers to embrace the ongoing reforms in the education sector by taking part in the curriculum upgrade and the digital literacy programme.
TSC chairwoman Lydia Nzomo told headteachers to crack down on teacher absenteeism, which she said wasted a lot of learners’ time and hurt the quality of education.
“Lead by example,” said Dr Nzomo. “You are the first quality assurance officers in your schools."
“Ensure that boards of management have committees that look at education standards and teaching in schools.”
Meanwhile, nearly 1.2 million children in Kenya are not attending school despite devolution and the fact that primary education is free, Kenya National Commission for Unesco secretary-general Evangeline Njoka said.
Many children with special needs are also not going to school because of lack of opportunities and support from families, Dr Njoka said on Tuesday at the conference.
“Many children are still out of school," she said. “The difficult terrains, conflicts in [the] northeastern region still make it impossible for children to go to school.
“Early marriages, pregnancies, defilement, sodomy and poverty have also made it difficult for children.”