There are over 5,000 teachers jobs by TSC announced by the Commission back in March when schools were closing due to COVID-19 in the country. There are also over 10,000 intern teachers vacancies and 1,000 ICT experts on top of it that will support learning in public schools during the pandemic and when schools reopen.
The question many have continued to ask themselves is when the recruitment excersise will be conducted even when COVID-19 is taking roots thick and first and schools remain closed and deserted.
Ministry of Education CS prof Magoha has directed teachers to report to school two weeks earlier before learners when schools open. The two weeks period is the time when TSC is likely to conduct the exercise as they cannot wait learners to report before address what as been described as teacher shortage crisis.
With all indications, the anticipated massive hiring of teachers will not take place any time within this year. A number of reasons pertaining Corona virus pandemic are playing role here. Restriction of movement and ban of public gathering involving more than 15 people being the major issues.
Normally, Teachers Service Commission jobs attract large crowd that could break the Community Health guidelines which the government is adamant to loosen. There is also a lot of travelling when applicants are making their applications. These are the factors the teachers commission is said to be considering in making decisions when going about its business.
It is understood that when schools eventually reopen there will be serious shortage of teachers in both public primary and secondary schools. This is engineered by the factor that Ministry of Education want a maximum of 20 learners per class in a quest to attain 1 metre apart social distancing rule. TSC in keen to addressing this shortage before learners report back to class.
A report by Teachers Service Commission indicate that over 6,000 teachers have left the profession during this time of Corona virus pandemic. There also unconfirmed reports that teachers above the age of 58 years and those with underlying health conditions will be forced go for early retirement and compulsory leave respectively as they will not be allowed near classroom.
Consequently, there seems to be a looming crisis should schools open in January. Tsc boss Nancy Macharia, who has began her second term in office seems to be aware of the crisis and is likely to act even before schools reopen.
The opportunity comes as relief for one group of teachers who are suffering. Now there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel for the Board of Management teachers. The teachers together with their counterparts in the private schools have been going without salary for months.
Private schools are at a grave danger of shutting down permanently due to financial constrains caused by COVID -19. About 15,766 private schools have already closed. This would mean over 1.5 million learners have no class to report back to next year. Most of this institutions are on rented premises. Despite them not paying their teachers, the elephant in the room is how to pay their rents.