Unlike in the previous deployments, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) in its latest plan will promote P1 teachers with various qualifications and who meet the standards to teach in secondary school.
Primary school teachers who hold Bachelors Degree in Education (Secondary option) and those with Diplomas in Education (Secondary option) are now assured of teaching in Secondary schools after TSC made public its plans to deploy more teachers in its latest report.
TSC was hard pressed to issue its report on status of preparedness ahead of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) transition classes and the looming double intake in 2023.
In a report titled Status Report on Teacher Preparedness for Competence Based Curriculum Implementation which was presented before the Parliamentary Committee on Education, TSC said that it will deploy P1 teachers who hold Diplomas, Higher Diplomas, under graduate Degrees, Post-graduate Diplomas, Masters and PHDs to teach at junior secondary schools (JSS).
The Ministry of Education is currently working to upgrade select primary schools to junior secondary schools.
Primary schools with established infrastructure that can host a junior secondary school (JSS) wing will be upgraded.
Those that are under-enrolled and in close proximity will be merged and the infrastructure of one of them improved.
Some schools will have both primary and junior secondary hosted in the same compound.
Junior secondary school will comprise of Grades 7, 8 and 9. In 2023, pioneer learners under the new 2-6-3-3-3 Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) system will transition to junior secondary school after sitting the Grade Six national examinations.
It is not clear whether TSC will lower its stringent guidelines for the practising P1 teachers to teach in the junior secondary schools as thousands of teachers graduated in various institutions but do not attain the minimum KCSE grades required by the Commission for one to teach in secondary school.
Currently TSC only deploys P1 teachers with Degree in secondary option and who have scored at least C+ mean grade in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).
The teachers must also have at least C+ in their subjects of specialization and must meet the minimum teaching units required for Bachelors Degree in Education.
In 2023 when Grade 6 will move to Grade 7 (junor secondary) it is also the year Class Six learners under the 8-4-4 education system will join Form One after sitting the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education Examinations (KCPE), thereby presenting a huge infrastructure and staffing challenge of hosting 2.6 million children.
This has prompted TSC to act swiftly to mitigate the staffing gaps. It will be cheaper for TSC to promote and deploy primary school teachers to teach in junior secondary schools than to conduct fresh recruitment.
A report by CBC task force says the total number of Grade Six and Standard Eight learners expected to join secondary school in 2023 will be 2,571,044.
“Approximately 1,250,649 learners enrolled at Grade 4 in 2020 will transit to Junior secondary school (Grade 7) as the first cohort of the 2-6-3-3-3 while the 1,320,395 Standard Six cohort of 2020 will transition to Form One under 8-4-4 system in 2023,” reads the CBC task force report.
TSC will deploy 1,000 successful p1 graduate teachers to teach in high school this financial year (2021 – 2022).
TSC said the teachers will help in supporting the 100 percent transition from primary to secondary schools.
TSC had advertised 1,000 deployment posts in 2019 and another 1,000 in September last year.
The Commission advertised 1,000 deployment posts July this year for PTE certificate holders to apply.
Those deployed will start at job grade C2 at salary scale 34,955 per month and will move to job grade C3 upon completion of three years as stipulated in Career Progression Guidelines for teachers (CPG).
“Successful candidates under this category shall be appointed at T-Scale 7, Grade C2 under the Career Progression Guidelines for Teachers and shall be deployed to secondary schools where vacancies exist,” TSC said in the advert.
TSC database shows at least 6,347 primary school teachers have degree with C+ at KCSE and C+ in the two teaching subjects as at July 2020 hence qualify to teach in secondary school.
TSC highlighted the following requirements for one to qualify for promotion and deployment to secondary school;
i) Be a Kenyan citizen;
ii) Be a holder of a P1 Certificate;
iii) Be a holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with 2 teaching subjects;
iv) Must have attained at least c+ (Plus) mean grade at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) or its equivalent and C+ (Plus) or it’s equivalent in the two teaching subjects;
v) Must be serving under Teachers Service Commission.
TSC is currently facing huge teacher shortage. The Commission will require at least 36,000 new teachers to teach in junior secondary.
Last year it emerged that at least 25,000 teachers will retire in two years time.
In November 2020 the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Teachers (Kuppet) revealed a report which showed that half of these tutors are above 59 years and therefore are due for retirement in June 2021.
“Our finding is that as of November 2020, the teaching service has 25,000 teachers aged 58 and above…meaning Kenya is facing a deep teacher shortage that calls for radical measures to address,” said Kuppet secretary general Akello Misori.
TSC said it would require Sh17 billion to hire 12,000 teachers in 2021.
“We call for urgent plans for the hiring of at least 50,000 teachers over the next one year and at least 15,000 per year between 2021 and 2026,” said Mr Misori.
The commission’s target has not been met due to inadequate budgetary provision.
The Treasury allocated the TSC Sh3.2 billion for teacher recruitment in the year starting July 2021 despite a request of Sh20.2 billion thus hurting its plans of increasing teacher numbers.
In June this year the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani proposed Kshs. 2.5 billion allocation to support recruitment of additional teachers in the Financial year 2021/2022.
In June TSC released its plan on how it will employ teachers in the next three years.
In the plan contained in the Programme-Based Budget 2021, TSC will employ 15,000 secondary school teachers starting this financial year.
The Commission said it will employ at least 5,000 teachers annually in the next three years to curb looming crisis in secondary schools.
TSC also said it will engage the services of 5,500 interns on a one-year contract every year to plug staffing gaps in schools.
However only 2,000 interns will be posted to primary schools each year.