New rule compels TSC to confirm intern teachers after 1 year of service

New rule compels TSC to confirm intern teachers after 1 year of service

Its now a relief for teachers employed on internship terms by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) following a recommendations by Education Taskforce.

In the recommendations captured in a report that was submitted to and unveiled by President William Ruto on Tuesday 1st August 2023 at State House, teachers must serve on internship terms for a maximum period of one year before being converted to permanent terms.

Currently TSC has a policy that allows for internship service to a maximum of two years. This means a teacher will be recruited on a one year internship term which is renewable for another one year.

President William Ruto already ordered immediate implementation of the recommendations of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) that was spearheaded by Prof. Raphael Munavu.

This means that teachers who were recruited on internship terms and their term end in December will be confirmed in January 2024.

However in the July budget TSC missed funds which it had asked to confirm intern teachers whose contractual terms are ending this year.

TSC Chairperson Jamleck Muturi pleaded with government to release funds for confirming the teachers.

Speaking at the Kenya School of Government during the launch of the TSC 2023-2027 strategic plan, TSC Muturi said the teachers will be demoralized if they work on internship for long.

Muturi revealed that the Commission has a plan to confirm the teachers in January 2024 if they get the required funds for doing so.

In February TSC recruited 20,000 intern teachers. In July 20,000 more interns were recruited and are now in the process of documents verification.

The Commission plans to post the new recruits to schools early September. Interns in primary schools receive a ‘stipend’ of Sh15,000, while those in secondary schools receive Sh20,000.

The ruling Kenya Kwanza administration had pledged to recruit 116,000 teachers within two financial years.

The interns were worried over the motives behind Kenya Kwanza Senators wanting to change laws that block TSC from employing teachers on internship terms for long period of time.

When TSC CEO Dr. Nancy Macharia appeared before the Senate National Cohesion Committee, they told her to identify legal issues that need to be addressed to allow for teachers to be employed on contract (internship), arguing that this would allow the commission to employ more teachers with its limited budgetary allocation.

The Senators called for a freeze on teachers’ employment on permanent and pensionable (pnp) terms and suggested that they instead be employed on contract to fix a shortage that the TSC puts at 111,810.

In simple terms the Senators want the Commission to use a small budget to employ many teachers who will serve as interns for many years without adding additional budget to the government which include retirement package and pension.

What Senators don’t know though is that this will at the end have a ripple effect on the education sector.

The demotivated teachers who work in same environment with colleagues who earn better than them will be the cause of all disasters in our primary, JSS and secondary schools.

However Mrs. Macharia said that the commission cannot legally keep teachers on contract for too long and that they would be turned into permanent and pensionable terms after two years.

She also said that the Commission cannot recruit enough teachers because there is no budget set aside for the exercise.

“We’ve never had enough teachers because we don’t have the finances. Give us the budget and we’ll recruit.” Mrs. Macharia said.

Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago said that the Employment Act should be amended to clear any legal hurdles to allow for contractual hiring, with clear terms of payment and length of service for such teachers.

‘”We cannot be held hostage by unions.  We have children who must be taught and Kenyans who need jobs,” he said.

Tharaka Nithi Senator Mahvenda Gataya said the proposal to hire on contract should be tabled before  the Cabinet for approval so that those who serve a specified time are absorbed on permanent terms yearly.

Mrs. Macharia said that the shortage continues to exist despite the commission having recruited 36,000 teachers earlier this year, with 47,329 needed at primary level while secondary schools lack 64,541 teachers.

“To achieve this, the commission requires an annual budgetary allocation of Sh 14.8 billion for recruitment of teachers,” she said.

Mr Melly also called for effective supervision of teachers to ensure that the government gets value for money.

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