The government will this year recruit 5,000 teachers as the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) implementation gains momentum.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nancy Macharia said the Commission had further set aside Sh.1.2 billion this financial year to engage intern teachers to help address the existing teacher shortage in primary and secondary schools.
Macharia said this at Shimo la Tewa High School in Mombasa on Monday during the launch of the county dialogue on quality competence based education in Kenya.
She said TSC trained 113, 223 teachers over the April 2019 holidays out of which 90, 806 came from public schools and the rest from private schools.
The teachers were trained in early grade 1, 2, 3 and grade 4 in readiness for the implementation of CBC.
“I am confirming that CBC training will continue until all teachers are fully equipped with the requisite competences,” she said, adding that the trainings will continue over the August and December holidays.
“By the end of the year, we would have trained 225, 000 early grade and grade 4 teachers before embarking on training other grades,” she said.
The launch of the county dialogues which will take place in all counties between July 15 and 19 are expected to pave way for the National Education Conference on Curriculum Reforms to be held in August.
According to Macharia, the conference will enable the sharing of all the county specific issues raised from counties, collate relevant monitoring reports and ensure critical lessons are discussed.
The launch in Mombasa was characterised by a heated plenary session with head teachers and teachers’ union officials taking ministry officials to task over huge gaps in the education sector.
The Infrastructure challenges and staffing shortages of both teachers and curriculum support officers as well as lack of attention to special needs learners emerged as the biggest challenges affecting learning.
The Coast Regional Director of Education, Hassan Duale announced that the Coast region had 15, 626 primary school teachers with a shortage of 3, 805 and 4, 804 secondary school teachers with a shortage of 4,700 which is almost half of the current staffing.
During the launch, Kenya National Examinations Council released the National Assessment Systems for Monitoring Learners’ Achievement (NASMLA).
The report profiled learner characteristics in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies as well as factors that impede the acquisition of these skills among class 2, 3, 7 and form 2 learners.
The areas of concern as indicated in the study, include low achievement levels especially of 21st century skills of critical thinking and analytical skills, average among pupils where the report indicates the mean age of class three children rose from 9.6 in 2016 to 10.6 in 2018, absenteeism and teacher centered pedagogical approach where teachers ‘lecture’ to class 2 pupils.
Others are low integration of ICT in learning and predominant utilization of commercially sourced tests in assessing learner progress.
By Mohamed Hassan