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Govt to employ more teachers

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – The government has re-affirmed its commitment to address the current teacher shortage facing both primary and secondary public schools in the country.

Education Minister Professor Sam Ongeri said on Tuesday that this is part of efforts to improve the quality of education in schools.

He said that the teacher shortage has currently reduced by 20,000 after the government employed more teachers to cope with the shortage.

"Last year, we had a gap of 66,000 teachers. Through the economic stimulus package and the replacement through natural attrition, we were able to recruit about 20,000 teachers," he said. "So we can comfortably say that the teacher shortage is 46,000, proportionately shared between primary and secondary schools."

Prof Ongeri was speaking during the launch of the child friendly school manual where he emphasised the need for more resources to be channelled towards improving the quality of education in schools.

"It is my expectation that in my discussions with the Treasury, we will be able to get more resources and engage more teachers in the coming financial year," he said.

He said that the manual would guide school heads and teachers in creating an enabling environment for students to learn.

Prof Ongeri explained that the model would act as a guideline to teachers on handling students in schools and provide a holistic approach in school management whose aim will be to develop an environment conducive for learning.

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He said if the guidelines in the manual are followed, it will boost parents\’ confidence in schools and root out any wrong conduct by teachers and students within schools.

"It must be safe that the parents can leave their children there. If they know that when the child gets to school and get funny habits, they withdraw them. If they think there is no moral uprightness of the teachers, they will withdraw them from there," he stated.

"If they suspect that drug abuse finds their conduit there, they will remove them from the school," he added.

The Education Minister explained that the manual was part of reforms in the education sector dealing with the right to education.

"A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. That is what we have started and this manual will therefore help you to plan and take appropriate steps in this long journey," he stated.

"In addition, a monitoring tool has been embedded in the manual, to assist schools and stakeholders to assess the extent to which the child friendly schools\’ components have been attained."

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