About 60,000 primary school teachers are not interested in teaching in Junior Secondary Schools.
Teachers Service Commission has employed 30,000 teachers in Junior Secondary Schools (JSS), but is struggling to find teachers in some parts of the country.
A document by TSC, reveals that only 8,367 teachers from primary school had moved to teach in the newly established Junior Secondary Schools.
This is despite some 68,671 primary school teachers being qualified to teach in junior school.
The minimum qualification for deployment to JSS is a diploma in Education.
Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that there are 2,047 teachers with master’s and doctorate degrees.
TSC explains in the document, that it had observed primary school teachers were not willing to transfer to junior secondary school as the new roles came with little to no benefits.
The document is part of responses by the teachers’ employer to the National Assembly Committee on Education dated July 11.
“Our analysis has revealed that a sizable number of teachers beyond the grade of C2, especially deputies and headteachers of primary schools, did not apply for deployment to Junior Secondary School since they are already in higher job groups as there was no extra motivation,” the document reads.
Weighing in, Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary general Collins Oyuu said while on paper junior school is poised as an advancement in learning areas and the workload, the same cannot be said when it comes to compensating teachers.
Oyuu argues that the absence of compensation to reflect the complexity of handling junior school makes the positions unattractive.
Learners take 12 compulsory subjects in junior school; they are English, Mathematics, Pre-technical studies, Kiswahili, Integrated Science, Social Studies, Business Studies, Agriculture, Religious Education, Health Education, Sports and Physical Education and Life Skills Education.
“If a teacher will earn the same amount of money they get but get a heavier workload and teach a more complex level they would rather not move,” Oyuu said.
However, any teacher willing to make the switch to join junior school has a chance to do that.
TSC says the portal for teachers wishing to migrate from primary to secondary school is open and that it will continue recruitment on a rolling basis.
“The portal for application for deployment to Junior School is still vacant and teachers who acquire the necessary qualifications are free to apply and be deployed on a continuous basis,” the document reads.
So far, 21,365 teachers have been recruited to teach in junior school under the internship programme that runs for one year and 9,000 on permanent and pensionable.
This means, there are about 30,365 teachers in State-owned junior secondary schools across the country.
With slightly over 23,000 primary schools, it means each school got at least one tutor assigned to the Junior school section.
However, some 185 teaching positions in Mandera, Wajir and Garissa failed to be filled during the recruitment process. The areas did not get any applicants even after re-advertisement.
This deals a blow to the implementation of CBC and widens the inequality gap under the new education system. Another challenge encountered in the recruitment of Junior Secondary School teachers, TSC says, is that some teachers were reluctant to take up teacher internship posts in some areas due to the amount of money paid as stipend.
“To address this the commission has endeavored to retain these teachers in their sub-county of choice where vacancies exist so as to reduce relocation expenses,” the document reads.
TSC also laments over the inadequate funds provided for the recruit of adequate teachers.
Estimates by TSC on the required number of teachers in Junior Secondary School need put the figure at 70,430 at the moment.
This means the institutions currently suffer a deficit of 40,000 teachers.
More teachers are needed for English, Mathematics, pre-technical education each have an immediate need of (8,385), Kiswahili and integrated science require (6,708).
The least number of teachers are needed for the Kenya Sign Language which needs only 91 tutors.
Agriculture, Social Studies, Business Studies, and optional subjects need (5,031) tutors.
Sports and physical education, Religious Education, Health Education will each need 3,354 teachers.
Life Skills Education will require 1,677 teachers.
A report by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms reveals that the training of teachers in new learning areas such as performing arts and technical subjects was not done and remained a serious area of concern.