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Senators propose changes in the hiring of teachers

Senators have put forward a proposal that seeks to transform how teachers are employed.

TSC CEO Nancy Macharia

Instead of the traditional permanent and pensionable basis, the Senate National Cohesion Committee proposed that teachers be hired on a contract basis.

The legislators argued that the shift would help the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to maximise its limited budgetary allocation while addressing the pressing need for more teachers.

According to recent reports from the TSC, the deficit of teachers currently stands at a staggering 111,870 teachers.

The senators said the commission would optimize its resources by hiring teachers for specific durations as required rather than having a fixed and potentially excessive number of permanent employees.

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TSC CEO Nancy Macharia acknowledged the potential benefits of contract employment for teachers.

However, she highlighted a legal limitation that prevents the commission from keeping teachers on contract for an extended period.

Macharia explained that, by law, teachers would need to transition into permanent and pensionable roles after two years. This ensures that teachers are granted the necessary job security and retirement benefits they deserve.

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Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago called for the amendment of the Employment Act to clear the legal hurdles.

Primary school teachers employed permanently have a starting salary of Sh35,000 while those on contract are offered Sh15,000.

In secondary schools, the starting salary of a teacher is Sh55,000 while their counterparts on contract take home Sh20,000.

The commission requires an annual budgetary allocation of Sh14.8 billion for the recruitment of teachers.

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The legislators also said by hiring teachers on a contractual basis, TSC can introduce specialized expertise and fresh perspectives into the classrooms.

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