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Counties With Alarming TSC Teacher Shortages in 2020

Kakamega County has the biggest problem of teacher shortage in the country, according to the Teachers Service Commission.

Earlier this year, the CEO of the Teacher Service Commission (TSC), Nancy Macharia, tabled a report to the National Assembly’s Education Committee to show the biting teacher shortage problem around the country.

According to the report, Kakamega County is the most affected in terms of shortage. The county has the biggest problem in both primary and secondary schools. The county has a shortage of 3,070 in primary schools as well as 3,338 in secondary schools.

Kakamega is followed by West Pokot, which has a shortage of 2,158 teachers in primary schools. This is followed by Narok (2,238) and Kitui (2,514).

Other counties with biting teacher shortage include Bungoma (2,416), Kilifi (1,886), Murang’a (1,854), Bomet (1,522).Siaya (1,263) and Migori (1,232).

The report also revealed counties that have a serious shortage of teachers in secondary schools. Bungoma County leads the way with a shortage of 2,720, followed by Kisii (2,472). Other counties with considerable secondary schools teacher shortage include Homabay (2,276), Nakuru (2,232), Kitui (2,025), Makueni (2,004), Machakos (1,978) and Trans Nzoia (1,455).

On the overall, Macharia revealed that the shortage in primary schools is 37,643 while that in secondary schools in 49,750.

The narrative of teacher shortage in Kenya is not new. For decades, the country has been facing a shortage of teachers, with many schools decrying the fact that their teachers were overstretched. In some public schools, the student to teacher ratio is too big that the teachers are overworked. This is one of the main reasons why these schools underperform.

In 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the plan to have a 100% transition from primary to secondary schools. However, such an optimistic idea will not be realized if the teacher shortage will not be addressed. The number of students transiting from primary to secondary schools increased significantly as a result of the directive. However, this increase only highlighted the problem of teacher shortage in the country.

Many counties are experiencing a teacher shortage even though there is an abundance of trained teachers around the country. According to the TSC, there are about 309,000 trained teachers in the state that are unemployed. These teachers could sufficiently address the shortage problem. However, the teachers’ employer holds that it does not have the resources to employ these teachers. TSC says that the shortage could be plugged if its budget could be increased to Sh253.6 billion from the current 226 billion.

Reacting to the report, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) affirmed its stance that the government needs to do more to raise education standards in the country. The union claimed that education standards would remain low as long as teachers are overworked.

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