By Augustine Oduor
Up to 60,000 teachers could benefit from Sh6.8 billion additional funding to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). The teachers' employer requested the amount from the National Treasury as part of the supplementary budget that is before the National Assembly for approval. Yesterday, the House Education Committee chairperson Sabina Chege said her team had pushed for the allocation, part of which was for teachers' promotions. "Several teachers have not been promoted and it was becoming a crisis. More teachers also had to be recruited and so the committee was wise enough to push for this," Ms Chege said. A brief by TSC says Sh2 billion was allocated to promotion of teachers and a similar amount to recruitment of 5,000 teachers for 10 months. The summary of revised estimates says the approved estimates under the wages and salary contributions was Sh179.9 billion. This was, however, revised to Sh186.7 billion, translating to an additional Sh6.8 billion. READ MORE TSC to promote 50 to deputy principals Unequal share of teachers blamed for poor exam results Intake for P1 teachers to begin next week The supplementary budget covers the remaining days of the 2015-16 financial year. It was, however, not immediately clear from TSC which groups were targeted under the allocation. But Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers Secretary General Akelo Misori explained that more that 60,000 teachers were due for promotion. Mr Misori said under Job Group L and M alone, thousands had not been moved up the ranks for years. Promotions to Job Group L are automatic but those to Job Group M are based on interviews. Job groups J, K and L fall under common cadre promotions. The Standard established that interviews for job groups P, Q and R are ongoing. Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said teacher recruitment in primary and secondary schools was lagging behind by nearly 13,000. He said TSC had planned to hire 10,000 secondary school teachers and 9,159 for the primary level in its initial budget. "However, only 3,662 and 2,338 have been recruited," he said.
A note by TSC said there was no reduction in the number of teachers to be recruited as a result of the supplementary estimates but rather the realignment of the target with the actual funds that were provided for the exercise. The document further said some Sh1.5 billion would be spent on the 52,000 retired teachers, as a fraction of the Sh42 billion awarded by a Nakuru court in December. The first phase of the retired teachers' payment shall be effected before June 30 when the financial year closes. Some Sh4.3 billion will cater for carry-over or pending bills to third parties from the 2014/2015 financial year. Some Sh813 million was set aside for recruitment of contract teachers and another Sh261 million will go towards adjustment of salaries and allowances to the actual expenditure based on trend.