Why thousands of teachers are set to exit service by December
Some 7,908 teachers are set to retire by December 31 this year after attaining the mandatory retirement age of 60.
Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia, however, assured that the commission has put in place mechanisms to ensure the retiring teachers are promptly replaced.
“To mitigate shortage, the commission formulated a policy that ensures wherever teachers exit service on natural attrition, for instance retirement or death in service among other reasons, the vacant positions are promptly advertised and competitively filled within a month,” Macharia explained.
So far, there are about 312,000 teachers registered with TSC but still not employed.
The commission has employed 5,000 annually over the last three financial years.
In the first quarter of 2020/21 Financial Year alone, TSC registered at least 8,500 teachers, which further raised the number of tutors scrambling to be employed by the commission against the minimal slots available annually.
The total number of employed teachers currently stands at 337,432.
Already, the teachers employer is in the process of recruiting additional tutors, with county selection exercise for teachers and filling application for employment forms by successful candidates underway.
The commission is similarly expected to replace teachers, who are needed to drive the tight curriculum schedule for next year.
In September, it announced a massive recruitment drive, with successful candidates expected to report to their duty stations in January.
“TSC is declaring 5,000 vacancies in secondary schools to support the 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary schools.
The teachers recruited will serve on permanent and pensionable terms,” said Macharia in September.
To qualify for recruitment, a candidate must be eligible to serve for a minimum period of 10 continuous years, effective the date of first appointment as required by law.
Last week, Macharia told the Senate Education Committee that in determining the teacher shortage, the commission is guided by staffing norms as opposed to teacher-learner ratio.
To address understaffing, Macharia said the commission has consistently requested for increased budgetary provisions to employ 20,000 annually.
“This has not borne much fruit as the National Assembly appropriates Sh2.5 billion annually for recruitment of 5,000 teachers,” explained Macharia.
In readiness for the 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary at the beginning of 2018, she said the commission projected to recruit additional 12,626 teachers annually for the next four years.
To this end, the commission requested additional funds of Sh5 billion for recruitment but the same was not honoured.
For the year 2017/18, TSC recruited 8,700 and another 5000 teachers in 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years respectively, which translates to a shortage of 26,804.
She said the commission has put in place mechanisms to ensure replacement of teachers who exit the service to avoid interrupted learning.
“TSC has ensured that teachers already in the service and the few who are recruited are proportionately distributed across the country to address staffing gaps,” she added.
TSC has since urged teachers to ignore fake letters being circulated by unscrupulous persons, indicating that the commission has stopped the ongoing recruitment exercise.
“Recruitment has not stopped in Busia or any other county. We advise teachers and the general public to ignore a fake letter circulating.
This process is on and we urge applicants to be cautious of fake news peddlers,” TSC warned yesterday.