Teso North, MP Oku Kaunya has urged the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to allocate more educators to the sub-county. The deficiency, according to the lawmaker, stands at approximately 600 teachers, spanning both primary and secondary schools.
Kaunya emphasized the critical role that resolving this shortage would play in enhancing the academic performance of pupils and students in the region. During a recent visit to Kolanya Girls National School, where he hosted Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, the MP shed light on the extent of the issue.
“In our primary schools, we have a shortage of over 300 teachers,” Kaunya stated. “In secondary schools, we have a shortage of 292 teachers. The next time TSC employs teachers, the teachers’ employer should remember Teso North so that we get more teachers in our learning institutions.”
The call for more teachers is not isolated; it aligns with the broader national context. In May, the government highlighted the need to recruit over 111,000 teachers to address the existing tutor shortage, jeopardizing the quality of education in public schools. However, the Teachers Service Commission’s ability to fulfill this demand over the next five years is contingent upon the availability of funds.
Kaunya, acknowledging the surplus of trained teachers awaiting employment, urged TSC not to overlook Teso North when the time for teacher recruitment arrives. This plea echoes the sentiments of many regions grappling with teacher shortages.
As of April 2023, TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia revealed that the commission had executed 15,824 transfers of teachers to their preferred counties. The acute shortage comprises 47,329 positions at the primary level and 64,541 in post-primary institutions.
To tackle this educational void, the commission estimated an annual budgetary requirement of Sh14.8 billion over the next five years, totaling approximately Sh74 billion. Macharia outlined various strategies, including annual budgetary requests, engagement of teacher interns, contractual recruitment, and immediate replacement of teachers through natural attrition.
While the nationwide teacher shortage remains a complex challenge, Kaunya’s call for attention to Teso North emphasizes the localized nature of the issue. As the community awaits a resolution, the spotlight is on the TSC and policymakers to ensure that the educational needs of Teso North are not overlooked in the broader effort to address the teacher deficit across Kenya.