Kenya is facing a crisis over shortage of teachers in some core subjects offered in secondary schools.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) said there are no teachers to hire for drawing and design, home science, art and design, agriculture, physics and chemistry, music and computer studies.
The commission has now written to universities to consider training teachers in these subject to bridge the gap.
“These subjects are lacking the required number of teachers who will be able to adequately provide the correct curriculum-based establishment in secondary schools,” said TSC chief executive officer Nancy Macharia in a letter dated October 19 and signed by Dr Nthamburi Mugwuku.
“The purpose of this letter is to kindly request your universities to put in place measures to train teachers who can be able to teach these subjects in order to address the gaps.”
Teachers’ shortage in secondary schools stands at 63,849, according to TSC. The country has close to 290,000 trained teachers who are yet to be employed.
The concerns of TSC appears to be supported by a report which was tabled last week in Parliament by Auditor-General Edward Ouko on shortage of teachers in critical subjects.
Mr Ouko said schools are unable to broaden their curriculum due to shortage of teachers which has hindered them from offering holistic education as expected in national schools.
“To bridge the gap, the schools had to employ board of management (BOM) teachers where, for instance, 50 per cent of the schools offering computer studies as examinable subject had BOM teachers teaching the subject,” reads the report on status of upgraded national schools.
Meanwhile, TSC has ordered for an audit of all teachers who are not performing their duties due to sickness.
TSC County directors are now required to compile the list and submit to the headquarters by November 15.
“You are required to liaise with all heads of institutions in your county to provide the following: teachers who have been out of station on account of ill health for over six months, teachers who have mental challenges and cannot teach and any other pending cases of your county where the teacher has not been in station for over three months and it is not official or approved leave of absence or study leave,” read a letter to TSC county directors dated October 23.