Teachers` Service Commission (TSC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Nancy Macharia has said they are mapping out teachers in the service with the right qualifications to teach the newly launched Junior Secondary School (JSS).
Dr. Macharia said there were many teachers in primary schools who have degrees and other qualifications to teach the Junior Secondary School (JSS) and those willing would be posted to JSS in a bid to stem the shortage.
“We have created a portal on the TSC website and we are encouraging those teachers interested in moving to Junior Secondary to apply through this portal,” the TSC Boss said.
Macharia who was speaking in Naivasha on the sidelines of an induction workshop for the Senate Standing Committee on Education said the country has about 112, 000 registered Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers.
However, less than 50,000 teachers in this sector of education which is devolved are employed by the 47 counties.
The TSC Boss said they would also be trying to balance out the teacher- student ratio to ensure equity in the public schools.
“If a primary school has say 10 graduate teachers, we will try to balance out by sending some to the nearby schools that have a shortage so that they can also help in teaching the JSS since they have the qualifications,” Dr. Macharia said.
While acknowledging the new JSS has been having teething problems, Macharia assured Kenyans that they were working round the clock to ensure that it takes off smoothly.
“We have deployed 30,550 new teachers, the largest number ever, in order to ensure the JSS takes off smoothly. To this end, we have ensured every JSS class in the public primary schools has gotten one new teacher who will mentor other teachers to teach JSS as we continue mapping out the teacher-student ratio for equity and employing more,” the TSC Boss stated.
She said 10,000 teachers were employed on a permanent basis and 20,000 as interns but these interns will in near future be employed on permanent basis.
On the issue of delocalization of teachers, Dr. Macharia was categorical they have always and would consider the personal interests of teachers and denied allegations that families had been destabilized by the delocalization.
She added that 14,733 had been delocalised but this has put in mind their personal interest and equity so that other places are not left without teachers.
The chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education Mr. Joe Nyutu on his part rooted for more funding to the Education Ministry to employ more teachers in order to stem the biting shortage in the public schools.
“Next year for instance, we are going to have Grade Eight in JSS and this means more teachers are required,” Nyutu said.
Nyutu who is also the Senator for Murang`a also opposed any suggestions to reduce entry grade into Teachers` Training Colleges, saying teaching is a profession whose quality and value should be upheld.
“Besides, there are many trained teachers out there who are yet to be employed,” he said.
Nyutu also promised to lobby for money, about Sh2 Billion per County from the National Government for refurbishment of ECDE and Vocational Training Centres (VCTs).