As published by arena.co.ke on April 15th 2023
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC), in its 2021/2022 annual report, listed teachers’ shortage, lack of professionalism, and slow adoption of IT skills by teachers as some of the main challenges it is faced with.
The report observes that alcohol and drug abuse, desertion of duty and immoral behaviour affect the effective delivery of the curriculum.
More worrying is the extent of mental health issues afflicting the profession with TSC saying one out of every four teachers seeking outpatient medical services exhibit a mental health disorder.
“The commission has noted with concern that a number of employees with mental health-related cases has been on the rise affecting the quality of curriculum delivery. To this end, the commission has continued to liaise with its stakeholders and partners in sensitising its employees on mental health illness. The commission has also enhanced employees’ medical schemes to facilitate better attention of mental illness related cases” the report reads.
Teachers are covered under a medical scheme serviced by Minet Kenya. At the time, TSC had about 346,000 teachers on its payroll. The commission also has staff in its secretariat offices. This year, 10,000 teachers have been recruited. This excludes the 20,000 interns who are not covered by the medical scheme.
Last month, TSC published a list of 36 teachers who had been de-registered for various offences. Last October, 44 teachers were removed from the register while 73 others were removed in July. TSC has been struggling to plug staffing gaps, but huge deficits still remain as more new schools are established while existing ones are expanded to accommodate rising enrolment ever since the 100 per cent transition policy from primary to secondary school was started in 2018.
Over the period covered by the report, TSC hired 11,859 teachers on permanent and pensionable terms while 6,000 interns were recruited. In the 2023 Budget Policy Statement, TSC has been allocated Sh322.733 billion where Sh3.8 million is meant for the hiring of 20,000 new teachers to support junior secondary school which was rolled out in January but faces a serious staffing challenge.
Sh 11.1 billion will be for salaries of the 20,000 interns and 10,000 teachers hired on permanent and pensionable terms in February this year. During the period under review, 93,679 teachers for Grades One to Six were trained, bringing the total number of teachers trained in the competency-based curriculum (CBC) and competency-based assessment to 229,292.
Additionally, 55,125 teachers were trained for implementation of junior secondary school. The TSC has also cited insecurity in some parts of the country and unfavourable working conditions in arid and semi-arid areas and hard to staff areas as challenges. According to the TSC, 149,512 teachers enrolled for the controversial Teacher Professional Development which was initially opposed by unions. The report shows that TSC has decentralised its services to eight regional offices, 47 county offices and 338 sub-county offices.