The government is going to hire 88,000 teachers after MPs on Tuesday approved a Sh26 billion recruitment request.
Most of the new employees — 68,000— will be hired as interns at a cost of Sh16 billion, while 20,000 will be given permanent jobs at Sh10 billion, said National Assembly Education Committee chairman Julius Melly.
The massive recruitment is meant to address a countrywide shortage that stands at 104,821. The matter is however subject to approval by Treasury.
“We are determined to have this issue of teacher shortages addressed once for all,” said Mr Melly, whose committee met with Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and Teachers Service Commission chief executive Nancy Macharia at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi on Tuesday.
The two had appeared before the committee to respond to questions by Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma on the shortage of teachers.
Mrs Macharia said primary schools are short of 40,972 teachers, while the secondary ones are grappling with a shortfall of 63,849. The campaign to achieve a 100 per cent transition rate from primary to secondary schools has also created the need for some 50,789 more teachers for four years.
“To date, the commission has in its register 291, 785 teachers who are unemployed. This figure outweighs the total shortage of teachers in the public institutions,” said Mrs Macharia, adding that they would ensure the new employees are distributed fairly across the country.
MPs questioned the delocalisation of schools policy, saying the ongoing massive transfer of teachers was inappropriate.
ODM Nominated MP Wilson Sossion, who is also the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) chief, asked the commission to reverse the policy and instead post teachers to their home areas to avoid a situation where non-locals are targeted for attacks as has happened in the northeast.
Dadaab MP Mohamed Dahir Duale, who attended the meeting as a friend of the committee, opposed the transfer of teachers from the region due to insecurity, saying that police were capable of protecting all the workers in the area.
But Mrs Macharia said she would not hesitate to withdraw teachers from insecurity-prone areas, adding: “In the past we have withdrawn teachers from Samburu, Kapedo, Mpeketoni and other areas and I will not hesitate to transfer others if they are in danger.” She cited Garissa, Mandera and Wajir as some of the well-staffed counties, with minimal shortages.
Ms Mohamed said that some 1,200 curriculum assistants would be recruited and trained for two months to address the shortages in Wajir Country, created by the transfer of non-local teachers.
In the budget policy statement released in January, the National Treasury has allocated the TSC Sh218 billion from July as compared to Sh202 billion in the current financial year.