27 Schools End Up With No Teachers After Recruitment

An acute shortage of teachers for a number of subject combinations has seen more than 27 secondary schools remain with unfilled slots after the just-concluded recruitment.

This comes at a time the country has more than 300,000 trained but unemployed teachers. Worryingly, some of the subjects will be among the key learning areas when the competence-based curriculum is rolled out in junior secondary in all schools in 2023.

A memo by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to county directors revealed the schools did not receive any applications for the advertised subject combinations, while those that applied did not qualify.

The schools have now written to the TSC and proposed alternative subject combinations in the hope that they will get teachers for those subjects.

The subject combinations with teacher shortage include Home Science, Drawing and Design, Computer/History, Agriculture/History, Chemistry/geography, Computer/Maths, Agriculture/Chemistry, Home science /History and Home science/ Biology.

Others include Kiswahili/Mathematics, Music and Business/Agriculture combination.

No applicant

Schools such as Ndururi Secondary in Laikipia County, Sawagongo in Siaya, St Polycarp Meso in Trans-Nzoia, Tharaka Secondary in Tharaka-Nithi and St Antony Engoshura and Ngecho Secondary in Nakuru County did not get applicants for the subject combinations that had been advertised by the TSC in July.

Others that did not get applicants include Bukolowe Mixed Secondary and St Angela Mumias in Kakamega, Friends Secondary, Gamalenga Secondary and Kilingili Secondary in Vihiga County, St Thomas Amagoro girls, Moding Secondary in Busia County, Munda Secondary in Taita-Taveta County and Lwala Kadwa Mixed Secondary in Kisumu.

In schools such as Lake Elementaita Secondary in Nakuru and Ombeyi Secondary in Kisumu, only one teacher applied in each but none turned up for interviews, while at St Rita Ramula Girls in Kisumu, only two applicants showed up but neither met the recruitment threshold.

In the other schools, all the candidates that applied did not qualify and were not invited for interviews.

The commission had advertised 8,914 teaching vacancies on June 29, out of which 4,827 were in secondary schools.

“The advertisement was approved on condition that there would be no change of subject combination,” reads a communication from TSC.

According to TSC, to ensure the posts are filled as quickly as possible, county directors have been instructed to use existing merit lists to fill the advertised vacancies.

Where there are no merit lists, the county directors have been asked to re-advertise the vacancies and approve change of subject combination if the listed strategies do not help fill the advertised posts.

Subject combinations

Early this month, TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia wrote an advisory to University Education and Research Principal Secretary Simon Nabukwesi asking him to ensure universities start teaching various subject combinations.

Among the subjects cited are Home science and Biology, which are key to Health Education.

Others are Social Studies (with content on citizenship) and Sports and Physical education (covering the aspects of sports and health introduced in the learning areas).

Optional subjects include indigenous languages, Kenya Sign Language, visual arts and performing arts.

Dr Macharia said the subjects are key to rolling out junior and senior secondary schools.

“The commission is expected to project teacher demand levels and appropriate areas of focus that will inform the strategies for training and preparation of teachers who will be available and ready to handle the junior and secondary learning,” she said.

Meanwhile, the TSC boss yesterday said 8,914 teachers recruited last month will start reporting to their respective schools from Tuesday next week.

The move by the TSC to automate the reporting system for new teachers is meant to cut delays in processing the teachers’ first salaries from three months to a month.

“The newly recruited teachers are scheduled to report for duty with effect from September 1, 2021. In order to fast-track onboarding of teachers, the commission has developed entry and exit modules,” Ms Macharia said.

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