JSS intern teachers resume work after calling off nationwide strike

JSS intern teachers resume work after calling off nationwide strike

Junior school intern teachers who vowed to paralyze learning in junior school in January have called off their nationwide strike and majority have already reported in their working stations.

The intern teachers had vowed not to resume duty when schools reopen in January till their demands are met.

The teachers were emboldened by a court order from Justice Byram Ongaya that was issued to TSC restraining it from terminating the contracts for the 21,500 junior school intern teachers.

The judge ordered TSC not to terminate internship arrangements until a case filed before him is heard and determined. The interns contracts were to end in December 31, 2023.

The intern teachers accuse TSC of going against the internship agreement. The teachers wanted the Commission to honor the agreement they signed by converting them to permanent and pensionable terms after serving for a year.

However the Commission said it doesn’t have money to employ them on permanent terms and wanted them to serve for another one year before being confirmed.

TSC officials at county and sub county levels had warned of dire consequences for those who will fail to report to school by Friday this week.

Primary headteachers were ordered to submit names of those who have reported to schools this week.

TSC says its now a government policy for a teacher to serve for two years internship before being absorbed into pnp payroll.

The teachers together with Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) have been protesting in various counties in December over plan by TSC to extend internship contract.

The teachers who are paid a monthly stipend of sh. 20,000 only receive sh. 17,000 after deductions.

They say this is too little and can’t match the current cost of living. Others say they have been posted to very remote schools making life even harder with poor pay.

TSC want the intern teachers to serve for two year internship contract before being converted to pnp terms in January 2025.

Recently President William Ruto said his government has changed the policy where internship will now take two years.

Ruto assured junior school intern teachers of employment once they serve the two year contract.

“It is now a government practice for the intern teachers to work for two years before they are employed on permanent and pensionable terms,” Ruto said at State House.

“The JSS intern teachers will be at work in January. We had promised that before being employed on permanent and pensionable terms, they must do an internship for two years.”

However the teachers say the initial deal was they would serve for only one-year non-renewable contract, as interns before being offered permanent jobs.

They said they do not understand why the deal has been stretched to two years.

At the same time TSC has said it will start recruitment of at least 20,000 new teachers to bridge staffing gaps in junior school.

TSC has admitted that junior secondary schools are grappling with ssevere teacher shortages.

Chief Executive Nancy Macharia said the schools require 99,045 teachers against the current number of 56,928.

The Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) pioneer class is reporting to Grade 8 and the second JSS class starts. 

However, as schools reopen, there are no extra teachers who will be employed, and the schools will have to wait until July.

“The government is continuously funding schools to progressively bridge the staffing gap. In the next financial year, TSC has requested funds to hire an additional 20,000 teachers to bridge the gap,” said Dr Macharia.

error: Content is protected !!