Learning in junior secondary face uncertainty as teachers plan strike

Learning in junior secondary face uncertainty as teachers plan strike

Junior secondary school (JSS) intern teachers together with Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) are planning countrywide industrial action in January.

Currently Kuppet and the teacher interns are protesting and demonstrating in various counties to force the government to employ them on permanent terms.

The interns are opposing the plan by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to extend their internship contract for another one year.

The intern teachers have vowed to never renew the internship contract till the Commission absorb them into permanent payroll.

The January strike threat puts education in junior secondary in limbo as grade seven learners are set to transition to grade eight.

Currently there are not enough teachers in junior secondary section. The Commission to employ teachers who will handle grade eight learners in January.

Recently TSC affirmed that it will only employ intern teachers on permanent terms after they serve for a two year internship period.

Appearing before the Senate Education Committee TSC CEO Dr. Nancy Macharia also said they will start to renew the contract for the current serving intern teachers in January 2024.

Macharia ruled out the possibility of converting the current 46,000 intern teachers to permanent and pensionable (pnp) terms saying the Commission doesn’t have the budget.

“We don’t have money for employing them on permanent and pensionable basis, if we’re given the money we’ll absorb them,” said Macharia.

She says the earliest the primary and secondary school intern teachers will be absorbed into pnp payroll is 2025.

She said all the 46,000 intern teachers serving in primary and secondary schools will be converted to pnp in 2025 depending on the month they were first recruited.

Macharia reiterated what TSC Director of Teachers Staffing Antonina Lentoijoni said three weeks ago that the 46,000 teachers will have their terms of employment automatically changed to pnp after two years of service.

“There are two sets of interns. There are those who started on February 1, and those who began working on September 1. The ones we are talking about sending letters of extension of contract for another one year in December are for those in February,” Lentoijoni said when she appeared in Parliament.

The Commission recruited 20,000 intern teachers in February this year. In August another 20,000 interns were employed.

In January 2022, TSC posted a total of 1,995 intern teachers to schools. TSC also renewed internship contract for 4,005 teachers whose one year term ended in December 2021. This brought the total number of intern teachers to 46,000.

TSC plans to recruit another 20,000 intern teachers to help with Grade 8 class which starts in January next year.

Interns attached to primary schools get a monthly stipend of Kshs. 15,000/= while those in secondary schools get Kshs. 20,000/=.

However those in secondary school lose around sh. 3,0000 to deductions while those in primary lose around sh. 2,000.

Currently there are mass demos and protests from junior secondary school (JSS) intern teachers who are opposed to renewal of internship contract for another one year.

At least ten counties are involved in the demonstrations which is calling out the two year internship rule by TSC.

The interns are pushing for their employment on permanent termsafter serving for a year.

In Meru and Kisii counties the intern teachers are also pushing for review of the stipend paid to interns.

The teachers want the stipend for the secondary school intern teachers to be raised from sh 20,000 to at least sh 25,000 per month.

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (Kuppet) has threatened January industrial action should TSC fail to convert the teachers to pnp.


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