At least 4,600 teachers will be exiting Teachers Service Commission (TSC) tomorrow after reaching the mandatory retirement age.
Of these around 1,538 are school heads whose retirement is likely to complicate the management of schools.
However the Commission says teachers in north eastern region will be allowed to continue to serve after attaining retirement age.
The Commission had in May invited teachers who had reached the 60 year mandatory retirement age.
TSC was forced to hire the teachers on contract after it was overwhelmed with huge number of teachers exiting the payroll from the counties of Garissa, Wajir and Mandera.
“This mass retirement will culminate in a dire situation of teacher shortage in the region, which have been experiencing teacher shortage as a result of the recent exodus of non-local teachers,” said TSC CEO Dr. Nancy Macharia in a press release dated 18th May 2023.
As a mitigation the Commission will employ the retired teachers from the region on contract for a period of three years and subsequently extend the period of retiring teachers by three years upon attaining the mandatory retirement age.
This it said is also extended to all retired teachers from other parts of the nation who may be willing to serve in North Eastern region to report to the County Directors of the said counties for collection of data and subsequent deployment.
TSC had advertised over 14,000 slots for school administrators to fill the huge gap in schools.
TSC first advertised for 14,738 teacher promotions in December 2022, before cancelling the advertisement.
It then called for subsequent applications in January this year, then March and the latest in May.
The vacancies arose through natural attrition. In this budget (2023-2024) TSC has been allocated Sh1.1 billion to be used to promote more teachers across various cadres.
Currently the Commission is in the process to issue promotion letters to successful deputies and seniors who attended interviews.
A good number of the promotion letters are with the TSC County and Sub County Directors and will be issued next week.
In May advert (third time) the teachers’ employer asked teachers to apply for senior school management positions.
The May advert was released after TSC chief executive Dr Nancy Macharia said it had failed to attract the right persons to fill the slots in two successive advertisements.
The first and second call for applications was done in January and March this year.
It is widely expected that the perks that come with the top positions would easily elicit a scramble for the slots.
However, in May advertisement, TSC still pleaded with qualified teachers to fill some 1,001 slots within the seven days.
Of these were eight principals and six deputy Principals both in Special Needs Education (SNE) schools as well as 987 Deputy Head-teachers in regular primary schools.
Dr Macharia opened the window one more time for interested teachers to submit their applications between June 9 -15.
‘‘The Commission strives to ensure that teachers are promoted as a means to recognize and reward teachers’ effort and performance, align them for succession management/career progression and to motivate them to perform better in their duties and responsibilities,’’ Dr Macharia said.
In January this year, TSC advertised for promotion positions that would see 14,738 teachers promoted to fill vacant Schools and Institutions and others which had teachers in acting positions.
However, TSC said even with several requests to fill the positions, thousands of schools remain without heads of institutions and deputy heads of institutions for failure by teachers to apply for advertised positions.
‘‘The Commission also has a responsibility to provide Institutional Administrators for public educational institutions for effective management of public schools,’’ Dr Macharia added.
Among the affected schools are special needs public schools with special needs and disabilities learners.
Teachers’ employer had advertised positions for Chief Principals, Principals, Deputy Principals, Deputy Principals, Head-Teachers, Deputy Head-teachers, Senior Masters, Senior Teachers positions.
Of these were four teachers as chief principals, eight principals, and 15 deputy principals all in SNE schools.
Additional TSC wanted 7,720 deputy head teachers to take over in regular primary schools bringing the number to 7,747 teachers.
However, only 5,155 teachers were filled leaving a gap of 2,592 vacancies.
“So far no single teacher has applied to be chief principal, only one has gone for principal, two as deputy principals in SNE schools while 5,152 for deputy head teachers were recruited in regular primary schools,” said Dr Macharia.
Two months later TSC re-advertised the positions apart from the four for chief principals.
In return the commission received 1,591 applications including Seven principals, three deputy principals all in SNE schools.
1,581 teachers made a stab at deputy head teachers positions for regular primary schools.