MPs shocked by Sh7.9 billion budget for TSC cars amid teacher shortage

MPs shocked by Sh7.9 billion budget for TSC cars amid teacher shortage

MPs clashed on Wednesday over the supplementary budget allocated to the TSC, saying attention should be paid to the shortage of teachers.

While some hit at the budget committee led by Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu Town) for proposing deductions, others said the allocation to the Teachers Service commission was above what it delivers.

According to the budget committee, the TSC has been allocated over Sh226.9 billion for the 2018/19 financial year, with an additional Sh7.9 billion from the Consolidated Fund for the purchase of new vehicles.

This adds up to Sh234.8 billion, so the budget would hit Sh248.8 billion with the Sh10 billion the lawmakers want for the hiring of teachers.

The committee however proposed a decline from Sh7.9 billion to Sh6.8 billion, with the difference of Sh1.1 billion going to the hiring of lecturers for technical institutions.

This did not go well with MPs who did not understand the allocation of this amount to cars while Kenya suffers the shortage.

Education Committee chairman Julius Melly stood on point of order and told the house that the TSC’s total budget was below what it required. Melly said it was unfair to reduce any amount allocated to the commission as activities must be run smoothly.

“The education sector has a shortage of 104,000 teachers and the TSC was directed to employ at least 22,000 every year to close the gap,” he added.

The budget committee did not include funds for hiring the teachers meaning the commission might not be able to do so. Nominated MP Wilson Sossion said: “Madam chair, we need more teachers. Statistics show we have a deficit of 104,000 and the TSC projection is that this number, which has been approved by the Treasury, might hit 150,000 in the next four years.

“The government has marshaled 100 percent primary to secondary school transition which has seen huge investment that has attracted more learners.”

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