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January 20, 2019

TSC needs Sh262m to hire untrained staff for northeasten schools

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed during a past event in Nairobi. /FILE
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed during a past event in Nairobi. /FILE

The Education ministry has requested Sh262.8 million from the National Treasury to hire untrained teachers for Wajir, Garissa, and Mandera counties.

It targets 1,275 teachers to be called ‘curriculum assistants’. Of this, 900 will be deployed to primary schools and the rest to secondary schools.

Yesterday, CS Amina Mohamed (pictured) told the National Assembly Education committee that those in primary schools will serve for three years and each will earn Sh16,000 a month, while those in secondary schools will earn Sh20,000 monthly for fives years.

The decision to employ curriculum assistants was made in 2015. The ministry says this will be a stopgap measure to fixing the shortage in the northeastern region.

Many teachers left for fear of their lives following attacks on non-natives. Following the exodus, some residents volunteered to help after learning was disrupted in many schools.

"The TSC recruitment period for teachers in Northern Kenya is still open unlike other parts of the country where deadlines for recruitment expired. All persons from Northern Kenya who have been registered as teachers by the commission have been employed and deployed in the region," Amina said.

Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary general Wilson Sossion yesterday said the planned recruitment would help to fix the teacher-student ratio problem "that has been worsening each year". "It is now at 1:50 from 1:35," he said.

Amina said those recruited will teach during the term and attend school -ased teacher training during holidays. The teachers’ training institutes have been identified, she said.

"The ministry has already prepared guidelines for the recruitment of curriculum assistants and developed a training manual. The curriculum assistants will be inducted before being deployed," Amina said.

Data from the Teachers Service Commission reveal that the three counties have a shortage of at least 5,000 teachers. This year, 736 teachers were transferred from Wajir county and later replaced with 900 teachers.

"These transfers were aimed at protecting the lives of teachers who expressed real fear for their lives," Amina said.

Primary schools are staffed based on the ‘one teacher per class plus one’ principle.

Secondary schools get teachers on the basis of the curriculum-based establishment in which every teacher is allocated 27 lessons per week.



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