The government has announced plans to employ 50,000 teachers in the next four years in order to increase the teacher-student ratio as the free secondary education takes off in January.
According to education CS Fred Matiang’i, who was speaking during the launch of form one selection on Monday, the government will review the budget for education to have more funds channeled in the recruitment of teachers, adding that they will also explore ways to support school boards to acquire more teachers.
“We are going to singularly focus on the teacher-student ratio,” said Matiang’i.
In 2016, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) raised a red flag over the acute shortage of teachers, which at the time stood at 100,000 across the country. TSC subsequently announced that it would hire 5,000 to ease the shortage.
2,205 teachers were to be deployed in primary schools and 2,795 in secondary and tertiary institutions. Secondary schools are currently reported to have a shortage of about 50,000 teachers.
Free Secondary Education
The government will be rolling out the free secondary education as schools re-open in January.
Day secondary schools will be totally free but parents with children in boarding schools will be expected to bear costs associated with boarding facilities and uniform. The government has however increased its allocation for students in boarding schools to Sh 22,244 per child per year up from Sh12, 870.
The government will also meet the cost of all national exams for both primary and secondary schools.
TEACHERS TO RENEW CERTS EVERY 5 YEARS
All teachers will also from January be expected to renew their certificates every five years however TSC has announced that it will no longer demote teachers.
According to TSC, the requirement to have teachers renew their certs every five years is in line with the Teachers Service Commission Act.
“Come January 2018 every teacher will be required to renew a certificate from the commission, which will be renewed after every five years,” TSC chairperson Lydia Nzomo said.
Hiring 50,000 teachers to enhance the teachers-pupil ration in public secondary schools sounds like a step in the right direction but will only bear fruit if the teachers are well trained and equally motivated to deliver otherwise we will just be expanding the ballooning Public Wage Bill with no results to show for it.
The requirement to have teachers renew their certificates every five years, which is meant to increase their productivity, sounds proficient as well only if due diligence will be observed during the process otherwise we will just be opening a new frontier for corrupt government officials to “eat”.