The first week of Junior Secondary School (JSS) instruction in public schools is still shrouded in confusion. There was teacher shortage in the institutions on the fifth day that students had reported to class.
More than 50% of children in the Nyanza and Western regions are enrolled in JSS, but like in other areas of the country, the kids are still not being taught.
“In Nyanza the response has been very good, as you can see we are in Kisii this morning and we are at 60%,” Nelson Sifuna, a director of education in Western says.
As the schools continue admitting the children and registering them in the nemis systems, those already in class are whiling away time, waiting for the formal commencement of learning. A wait tied to the arrival of teachers.
Kenya National Union of Teachers officials decry the inordinately long wait for teachers.
“Right now they are looking very smart in their uniforms they are very happy, but if you ask them what they have learned they will tell you it is nothing,” says David Obuon, Exec Sec, KNUT, Kisumu.
Education officers in the region acknowledge the delay in the deployment of teachers but insist that this should not stop those teachers in the schools from stepping in.
“I request the teachers to continue going to class and teaching as we wait for further direction, for those children still at home, I request that you report as fast as possible,” Sifuna adds.
With KNUT officials calling for urgent action, Ministry of education officials from the region say the wait for teachers won’t be very long
“We want to ask tsc to deploy the teachers as early as yesterday so that these learners can have an experience of learning in junior secondary,” Obuon says.
Sifuna says the process of deployment is ongoing and the list of teachers approved will be taken to the regions and the regions will take them to the counties for posting.
In the same region, a section of private schools, although well equipped, are looking at low numbers of students enrolled as parents flock to public schools for the free education
“Here we have told them we are not getting any support from the government we will run our own show.”