Now, the Education ministry has announced plans to employ more teachers to ease the shortage.
Nevertheless, the figure is still far below the actual requirement.
For more than a decade, public schools have grappled with severe staff shortages arising from a freeze on teacher recruitment that was intended to reduce the high public sector wage bill.
Accordingly, the government resorted to replacing only those who retired, left the service or died, which averaged 5,000 annually.
During the period, schools expanded and enrolment soared. Whereas there were about 7.5 million children enrolled in primary schools 10 years ago, the number has since risen to about 10 million but the number of teachers remained constant. A similar growth rate was also experienced in secondary schools where enrolment exceeds two million compared to just a million a decade ago.
A ministerial task force on secondary education school fees published a report in 2014, which indicated that due to the freeze on teacher employment, school boards were forced to hire their own and that cadre of teachers constituted 37 per cent of staff in public secondary schools.