Western Kenya counties will get the bulk of the 5,000 teachers set to be recruited next month as the government raced to address a shortage of tutors in secondary schools.

A schedule by the Teachers Service Commission(TSC) showed that the region will fill 1,746 of the teaching vacancies — an equivalent of 35 percent of the pie.

“Applications for posts in secondary schools must be a holder of a minimum of diploma in education and should apply to the boards of management of the schools where a vacancy has been advertised and submit an application to the TSC county director,” Nancy Macharia, chief executive of the TSC said in a call for applications.

Kakamega has the highest number of slots be filled nationwide with some 278 teachers marked for recruitment. Other counties that will get big numbers include Bungoma (242), Nakuru (223), Kisii(221) and Makueni (215). Meru and Machakos will each get 201 new teachers.

Northern Kenya counties — that have in the past few years benefited from mass recruitment of teachers to replace those displaced by terror-related violence and animosity — will, however, get the least number of slots this season.

Natural attrition, search for greener pastures, periodic transfers, and further education are some of the common causes of teacher movement.

The ministry is under pressure to address teacher shortages in secondary schools due to improving transition rates from primary schools.

The ministry targets a 100 per cent transition rate from primary to secondary school this year although by mid this month only an estimated 70 per cent of the 1,032,334 pupils who sat for primary national exams KCPE in 2018 had reported to schools. Last year’s transition rate was 83.93 percent of 942,021 candidates.

The success of this ambitious transition plan heavily depends on the employment of more teachers.

A strategic plan by the TSC showed that an estimated 70,000 new teachers ought to be recruited immediately to help guarantee quality services even as the number of students enrolled in secondary schools is projected to climb from 2.79 million to 3.2 million next year.


Teacher shortage in secondary schools stands at about 63,849, according to the TSC although the country has close to 290,000 trained teachers who are yet to be employed.

The shortage has heavily hit some course subjects such as physics and chemistry,home science, drawing and design, agriculture art and design, computer studies and music. In 2017, the government recruited 8,700 teachers — way short of the State’s ideal annual recruitment of 12,626 until 2020 on a budget of Sh8.6 billion.

Improved performance in the 2018 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations has put pressure on the government to improve facilities in secondary schools amid expectation of higher transition.

Data by the Education ministry showed that some 228,414 pupils, or 21.7 percent of total candidates who sat KCPE exams last year, scored between 301 marks and 400 marks out of a possible 500, an increase of 11,107 candidates compared to 2017.

More than half (54.66 percent) of pupils scored between 201 and 300 marks compared to 2017’s 529,897 or 53.31 percent.

The results summary also showed that 234,573 pupils scored between 101 and 200 (22.3 percent) compared to 23.59 percent previously. Those who scored between zero and 100 were 2,177, being 0.21 percent down from 2,360 in 2017 and 6,747 in 2016.

According to Economic Survey 2018, the total enrolment in secondary schools grew by 4.1 per cent from 2,720,600 in 2016 to 2,830,800 in 2017.

Further, enrolment of girls increased by 4.3 per cent to 1,380,000 while that of boys went up by 3.9 per cent to 1,450,800 in 2017. The retention rate at Form 4 for boys and girls was 87.8 per cent and 85.1 per cent, respectively.

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