The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is set to start mass recruitment of junior secondary school (JSS) teachers ahead of Grade 8 class next year.
In a mini budget two weeks ago the Commission was allocated an additional Sh19.81 billion to cater for the hiring of thousands of new teachers.
This pushed TSC’s budget to Sh343.6 billion from the original estimates of Sh323.82 billion.
Yesterday President William Ruto confirmed that the government will allocate Sh19.7 billion to the TSC to recruit more teachers.
Speaking during the Taxpayers Day celebrations in Mombasa, Ruto announced that the funds will be made available under the supplementary budget currently awaiting approval by the National Assembly.
Under the supplementary budget, the education sector is poised to get Sh62 billion.
“Our budget to TSC has increased by Sh20 billion because we are hiring additional teachers. Some 56,000 additional teachers are on our payroll this year,” Ruto said.
In the July budget TSC had missed funds which it had requested for confirming intern teachers whose contractual terms are ending this year.
However in the new allocation the Commission will confirm 20,000 intern teachers it recruited in February this year.
The graduate intern teachers will be placed in job group C2 while those with PTE certificates will start in grade B5.
Over the past year, the Kenya Kwanza administration has made commendable strides in tackling the teachers shortage, having employed 35,790 new teachers.
Notably, 1,000 of these were recruited on permanent and pensionable terms for primary schools while 3,986 interns joined the primary school system.
Moreover, an impressive 9,000 teachers were hired on permanent and pensionable terms for junior secondary schools, and an additional 21,365 were recruited as intern teachers for junior schools.
The recruitment drive is a departure from the previous administration’s approach, which hired approximately 5,000 teachers annually.
In July President Ruto said: “For the first time, the government has employed 35,000 teachers this year, a number unprecedented in recent history. By August, we aim to recruit an additional 25,000 teachers, ensuring that every child in Kenya has access to quality education.”
In the current financial year, the education sector received an allocation of Sh628.6 billion and will get an additional Sh62 billion under the supplementary budget.
“If you compare last year. The education budget last year was Sh545 billion to Sh690 billion. This year the budget, factored in with the current supplementary budget, that is Sh145 billion additional money for our education. This is deliberate, because we believe every child in Kenya should have a chance at life by making sure that they have access to education,” said the Head of State.
The supplementary budget also caters to the State Department for Higher Education and Research, which will receive an extra Sh29.3 billion, bringing the total budget to Sh157.9 billion, with a focus on scholarships under the new funding model.
Ruto said the investment is vital for developing an improved human capital. “We are increasing the money going to our universities by a whole Sh48 billion. So what I see on the horizon is an improved human capital,” he said.