, MERU, Kenya, Jul 26 – The Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) has defended the government’s move to hire new teachers on contract saying it will ease the biting shortage of teaching staff across the country.
TSC Secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni on Saturday said the country was short of about 60,000 teachers and said the planned recruitment on contract of 13,000 was a welcome move, and challenged the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) to support the initiative.
He said the government would later absorb the contracted teachers after they serve for two years.
Mr Lengoiboni noted that teachers employed by school Boards of Governors (BoGs) were exploited through poor pay and the contractual jobs would ease the financial burden on parents.
“Teachers who will be hired by the ministry will earn more than those employed by BoGs. Besides, they will be permanent employee after two years of service,”, the TSC boss said.
He was speaking at Maraa Secondary School in Imenti South District where he was the chief guest during the institution’s annual prize giving ceremony.
Also present was Chief Financial Officer in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Mr Kimathi Mugambi.
Mr Lengoiboni said TSC had already compiled a report of teacher shortage and handed it over to Ministry of Education ahead of the planned recruitment of new teachers on contract.
“The country is short of more than 60,000 teachers and we should back any government effort to address staff shortage in our schools,” said Mr Lengoiboni.
He further faulted KNUT for the January teachers’ strike saying it had greatly affected learning.
“The strike was useless because the salary issue was being adequately addressed by the government. The outstanding phases of the salary increment would have been implemented by September next year if the economy remains vibrant,” said Mr Lengoiboni.
He said teachers should not resort to strike since the government is determined to improve their welfare.
The official said that a 40 percent salary increment for teachers would be factored in their pay slips this month.
Mr Mugambi on the other hand hailed the subsidised secondary education which the government started in 2008 saying it had increased enrolment and access to secondary education.
Mr Kimathi praised the TSC boss saying he had contributed much to the growth of the education sector in the country.