The 20,000 teachers recruited on internship terms in February will have to wait until January 2025 before they are given permanent and pensionable jobs, Teachers Service Commission (TSC) boss Nancy Macharia told the National Assembly’s Education Committee yesterday.
TSC plans to recruit 20,000 more teachers on contract in the financial year starting July to shore up junior secondary school (JSS) numbers, but the number will still fall short of what is needed. The recruitment will cost Sh4.7 billion.
Ms Macharia explained that, if the commission changed the terms of employment to permanent and pensionable, it would not have enough resources to recruit more teachers needed in JSS.
However, she added, teachers recruited to replace those leaving through natural attrition would be coming in on permanent and pensionable terms.
She was making submissions on revenue and expenditure estimates for the 2023-2024 financial year.
The CEO insisted that the teachers on contract are qualified and that the quality of teaching will not be compromised. In the 2023-2024 Budget Policy Statement, the TSC has been allocated Sh322 billion.
TSC has started recruiting teachers on contract in 2019, calling them trainees.
When recruiting permanent and pensionable teachers, they are usually given preference and scored higher than those who are not on the programme.
Interns in primary schools receive a ‘stipend’ of Sh15,000, while those in secondary schools receive Sh20,000.
Based on teachers who apply for jobs when they are advertised, there are over 300,000 unemployed teachers despite the shortage of staff in schools.
Ms Macharia admitted that about half of the teachers posted to JSS had not been paid, but attributed the delay to late reporting from the schools where they were posted, as they did not all report at the same time.
The TSC boss said the commission needs Sh2.2 billion to promote teachers who have been stagnating in the same grades for a long time.
There is no indication in the budget estimates of a new pay deal for teachers. Unions have called for a renegotiation of the non-monetary collective agreement they signed with the employer in 2021.
However, the commission has earmarked Sh6 billion for joint cadre promotions and annual salary increments. Commission chair Julius Melly asked TSC to come up with a clear formula for determining the number of teachers needed for JSS.
The ruling Kenya Kwanza administration had pledged to recruit 116,000 teachers within two financial years.
Mr Melly also called for effective supervision of teachers to ensure that the government gets value for money.
In her submission, Ms Macharia said TSC needed Sh300 million to fund its programmes and activities at the county and sub-county levels.
“TSC’s county and sub-county offices are very important in the implementation of Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development and the implementation and monitoring of performance contracts,” Ms Macharia said.
“They play a major role in the timely resolution of pending disciplinary cases and the implementation of teaching standards,” she added.
According to TSC submissions, a Sh2.1 billion request to fund the Professional Teacher Development programme was submitted but not considered.
When the programme was introduced, teachers were supposed to pay for the training, but there has been a clamour from the unions for the TSC to foot the bill. Ms Macharia told MPs that the commission had no pending bills, no stalled projects and had not budgeted for any new projects.