The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has announced a recruitment drive targeting 919 teachers for both primary and secondary schools next month as schools open for second term.
The new teachers will replace those who have exited the service through natural attrition. Among them, 659 posts will be for primary school while 260 will be for secondary schools.
The recruitment comes even as the commission grapples with acute shortage of teachers in schools following the governments new policy on 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary schools.
Currently, the teacher shortage stands at 87,737; some 57,380 in secondary schools and 30,357 in primary schools.
According to the TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia, the shortage is projected to rise to 125,615 following the 100 per cent transition policy with secondary schools hit hardest at a deficit of 95,258.
In January, the commission announced that it will recruit 5,000 teachers. Mrs Macharia said the move was to bring to 12,000 the number of teachers recruited to support the transition since last year.
Over the years, teacher shortages have been a major challenge to the education sector. The failure to recruit teachers has been blamed on the low funding from the national government.
In the May recruitment, Mrs Macharia said candidates for primary schools will not have to apply but will be selected from the last year’s application list.
“Applicants for vacancies in primary schools must be holders of P1 certificate and will be selected from the county merit lists compiled during the May 2018 recruitment,” said Mrs Macharia.
For secondary school teachers, she asked all interested candidates to submit their applications through county directors and Boards of Management by May 10.
The candidates are required to hold a minimum of Diploma in Education. They are also required to apply to Board of Management of the school where the vacancy has been advertised and submit a copy to the TSC county Director.
However, for the primary school teachers, Mrs Macharia said the delocalisation programme will be followed.
“Successful candidates will be deployed to serve in stations in any part of the country and not necessarily in the county where they were recruited,” said Mrs Macharia.
The delocalisation programme has been bitterly opposed by the Kenya National Union of Teachers, through secretary general Wilson Sossion, on grounds that it affects families.
The TSC introduced the programme last year. So far, several teachers have been transferred since January last year. Newly recruited teachers are also being posted in schools away from their counties.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is also on record directing the TSC to review the delocalisation programme saying that it should not affect families.
Knut has often accused TSC of implementing policies without consulting stakeholders. But the teacher’s employer has been adamant that delocalisation is meant to enhance national cohesion.