The government plans to recruit over 12,000 teachers each year in the next five years in a bid to curb shortages in public schools.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC), in its 2019-2023 Strategic Plan, says it will require a total of Sh73.7 billion for new teachers.
Some Sh16.4 billion will be needed each year over the next four years and Sh8.1 billion in the fifth year.
In June 2018, the agency estimated a shortage of 96,345 teachers — 38,054 in primary and 58,291 in secondary schools.
By 2023, the teacher shortage is projected at 61,671 for secondary and 34,941 for primary schools.
In primary schools, the declining demand is attributed to continuous teacher hiring over the years.
As a measure to cope with shortages, school boards of management have hired about 80,000 teachers in public schools, some of whom may not be qualified.
This has compromised education standards and learner achievement, undermining the government’s commitment to free and affordable basic education.
On Monday, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the government is doing all it can to ensure there are enough teachers to handle rising enrolment in secondary schools.
He said the government will continue to allocate money for hiring more teachers.
“While the government fully appreciates the teacher shortage, especially at the secondary school level, you must agree that this requires a significant investment to alleviate,” he said.
He urged stakeholders in the sector to accept and adopt alternative models of teaching and learning in handling the current shortage.
TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia said the agency has hired 28,000 additional teachers to address shortages in the past five years.
She said the hiring is among other major reforms that the agency is making in the next five years.
“The full implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum is, however, expected to impact the teacher demand significantly,” she said.