The Teacher Service Commission (TSC) has laid bare its teacher demands ahead of schools reopening in January next year.
TSC said it immediately requires Sh25 billion to effectively prepare for schools opening, which has been pushed to January next year.
The Commission said it plans to hire 12,000 additional intern teachers ahead of the opening.
This will bring to 23,574, the total number of teacher interns hired since last year.
TSC requires Sh17 billion to hire some 26,000 teachers to manage high schools enrollment under the 100 per cent transition. It also needs Sh8.1 billion annually to hire 12,500 teachers to plug the normal shortage.
TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia tabled the report during a two-day consultative forum with National Assembly Education Committee.
Macharia told MPs the Commission had projected to employ 12,500 teachers annually for the next five years to mitigate the shortage in the country.
“However, this target has not been met due to inadequate budgetary provisions,” she said.
Macharia also said that under normal staffing, the commission needed 50,504 teachers to support the existing staff establishment.
“Instead, the commission has so far only employed 23,700 teachers since 2017,” she said.
In the current financial year, the commission received a budget of Sh2.5 billion to employ 5,000 teachers.
Under the Economic Stimulus Programme, the commission was allocated a further Sh2.4 billion funds to engage 12,000 interns.
Macharia told MPs that there is an urgent need to meet the right staffing levels amid the Covid–19 pandemic that continues to cause challenges in learning.
Also as part of schools reopening plans, TSC said it will train some 118,000 teachers next month on the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) at a cost of Sh1 billion.
“The commission intends to prepare teachers for eventual re-opening of schools through training, capacity building, sensitisation and induction programmes,” Macharia said.
The training is aimed at ensuring successful implementation of the new Curriculum.
Last year, the commission trained 339,752 teachers under the CBC at a cost of Sh400 million. Of these, 113 223 teachers – 22, 417 of them from private schools – were trained in April.
In August, 105,030 teachers were trained 21,495 of them from private schools.
And in December, 121,499 teachers, including 23,143 tutors from private schools, were trained.
During the meeting, it also emerged that some 55,000 teachers have been promoted this year, with another 3,900 scheduled for interviews.
Commission data shows that some 460 teachers have already been interviewed and will get promotion letters soon.
The committee members expressed concern over the duration some deputy principals have served as acting head-teachers and asked TSC to determine a maximum period for such cases.
The MPs also proposed the need to develop a policy on the promotion of teachers who have attained the required qualifications to head institutions.
They emphasised that fairness must be key in all promotion exercises. The MPs also raised concern over the transfer of teachers, especially school principals and head-teachers.
Citing multiple schools in their constituencies that have experienced a great turnover at the management level, the MPs said the transfers affect operation of the schools.
Macharia, however, said that all vacancies are filled competitively with the objective to promote national values, fairness, non-discrimination and equity.
“The criteria used in promotion of teachers include the availability of budget/funds; the existence of vacancies in the authorised establishment; merit and ability as reflected in the teacher’s work performance; academic and professional qualification among others,” she said.
Besides the promotions, some 1,165 teachers have been punished for various offences.
Macharia said most teachers have faced disciplinary process for insubordination, immoral behaviour and desertion of duty.
Others, she said, were punished for the negligence of duty and examinations irregularity, criminal offences, chronic absenteeism, fraud and forgery and engaging in corporal punishment.
The TSC boss told MPs that the commission has successfully determined cases through video conferencing since August 2020. She, however, said that TSC needs Sh60 million to implement the Teacher Induction Mentorship and Coaching (TIMEC) programme.
The programme allows mentors/coaches and mentees to interact at an institutional level while at the same time continuing to perform their normal teaching duties.