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TSC to hire 8000 teachers

With a high shortage of teachers in Kenya, the Kenyan government has moved in to address the issue by setting aside KES 3.2 billion for hiring 8,000 teachers. Both public primary and secondary schools need 87,000 teachers more to be able to offer quality education to students. According to the, the Teachers Service Commission asserts that primary schools need 37,643 teachers more while secondary schools need 49,750 more teachers. 

Dr Nancy Macharia, the TSC chief executive, said the 8,000 teachers would help in supporting the government’s policy of ensuring 100% transition from primary to secondary school. TSC will advertise the vacancies in national dailies. The application process is likely to be demanding, given there are over 300,000 trained teachers who are currently unemployed. After a successful application, TSC will distribute the new teachers by giving high priority to schools facing the biggest shortage in the country.


Why there is demand for additional teachers

According to Dr Nancy Macharia, the shortage of teachers is as a result of the government’s policy of 100% transition. In 2018, over 1.6 million candidates listed for the KCPE exams. With those numbers, the government will set aside KES 2 billion to hire 5,000 teachers and KES 1.2 billion to employ additional 3,000 teachers in 2019. 

The policy has also led to many secondary schools starting additional streams to accommodate more students. As a result of the increased enrolment, many schools are experiencing a shortage of up to 10 teachers, according to the TSC chief. The TSC also estimates that the cumulative shortage of teachers across the country is more than 85,000, mostly in secondary schools. 

What Kenyan school heads are saying about the teacher shortage

According to KESSHA (Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association) chairman Kahi Indimuli, secondary schools in Kenya have had to hire additional teachers to offer support. By doing so, it has resulted in an annual expenditure of KES 1.4 million per school. That also means parents are facing another burden of educating their children. 

As it stands, schools have had no option but to take on the role of the commission to employ additional teachers and streamline learning. In total, school boards of management have employed around 80,000 teachers. KESSHA has since pleaded with the commission to employ more teachers. In total, school boards of management have employed around 80,000 teachers. 

These revelations on the sorry state of education in Kenya came during the annual Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association conference in Mombasa. It is at that meeting where it was also revealed that the 8,000 positions would be advertised from late June or early July. The recruitment will run until the 2023-2024 financial year. That will give a chance to the hundreds of thousands of trained but unemployed teachers to apply for the vacancies. Those interested will likely fill their applications from the TSC portal.

Amount needed to address the entire shortage

In early March 2019, TSC presented a report to the National Assembly’s Education Committee on how to address the teacher shortage in schools. In that report, the commission wanted up to KES 82 billion to hire teachers. Dr Macharia estimated that over 90,000 teachers were needed. She also said the number could increase to over 120,000 by the year 2023. 


But the government has only set aside KES 3.2 billion for that purpose. On average, TSC needs KES 16.4 billion annually to hire new teachers. With the government’s push for 100% transition, the current amount allocated is still small to fully address the crisis.

Teacher promotion

TSC presented that many teachers have left the service because of the slow pace of promotion, hence aggravating the crisis in the education sector. But on 29 June 2019, TSC adopted the recommendations of a report released by the National Assembly’s Education Committee to promote teachers. That means up to 20,000 teachers stand to get a promotion between now and 2023 based on TSC’s 2019-2023 strategic plan.

The teacher promotion will be guided based on a teacher’s ability in their work, merit, results, seniority, performance and experience. TSC will use up to KES 20 billion for the process.

Number of available teachers in Kenya

According to the commission’s strategic plan, there are currently 317,069 teachers on the payroll. The teachers are distributed in 30,892 schools in Kenya. Those numbers include 99,778 teachers working in 8,629 secondary and 217,291 teachers in 22,263 public primary schools. 

The TSC portal guide available here will guide you through the steps for registering as a new teacher and checking your application status.


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