Outcry as thousand intern teachers locked out of verification

Outcry as thousand intern teachers locked out of verification

Several long-suffering university graduates who successfully underwent verification process for internships with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) are crying foul after being locked out at the tail-end of the recruitment process.

Those in Nairobi who had been called by TSC for the final verification process that paves the way for signing of one-year internship agreements told The Standard they were shocked to be asked to produce evidence of being born or being voters in particular sub-counties.

This was not amongst the requirements which the TSC sub-county officials had asked them to fulfill upon being informed that their applications was successful, they said.

Some of the items they were required to provide were birth certificate, marriage certificate, title deed of property owned or electoral cards.

“Greetings, upon your successful application of internship you are required to attend a brief meeting on August 8, 2023 (Tuesday) at Baraka Primary in Makadara, Buruburu Zone at exactly 9. 00 am with original and very clear copies of the following…,” read a text sent to one of the graduate teachers who had applied for an internship opportunity for Junior Secondary School in Makadara sub-county.

Besides academic certificates, the ‘successful’ applicants were required to bring along two Passport Size Colored photographs, KRA pin certificate, clear bank plate /ATM card, duly filled pay point particulars form, NHIF card, NSSF card, Primary and Secondary leaving certificates and original medical examination report.

Others were a copy of the Personal Accident Insurance Cover, clear graduation booklet with cover page and serial number page where their names appear only, an Affidavit (where names differ or initials are used), duly signed next of kin form downloaded from TSC website, birth certificate and National ID.

But the applicants were shocked when they were addressed by administrators, largely assistant county commissioners (formerly D.Os), who demanded that they produce evidence of being born in respective sub-counties, owning property or being voters. 

Some of the applicants who were turned away said they were distraught after spending weeks preparing for the exercise to no avail.

“Imagine hustling to get all these requirements in order, including buying personal accident cover…I bought one yesterday,” said a frustrated applicant who has been looking for employment with TSC since graduating in 2016 but sought anonymity for fear of victimisation.

“It would have been better if we were never invited to present those documents and sign internship letters,” he said.

Another applicant asked TSC to clarify whether it has turned its recruitment model similar to security where only residents by birth are allowed to join the police, the military and other security agencies.

“We understood this was basically an invitation to sign internship agreement after being successful in the verification stage(interview) but they have turned us away,” the applicant said.

TSC had earlier issued a raft of recruitment guidelines for the exercise. Last month, the commission invited applications from qualified candidates to fill 20,000 teacher internship posts.

 The agency said 18,000 intern teachers will be posted to junior secondary schools (JSS) while the remaining 2,000 will be deployed to primary schools to support the implementation of the new curricula. 

Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia said applications was to run for two weeks and close on July 18 but it is still ongoing.

Successful candidates for JSS would be required to teach various learning areas under the curriculum and will be entitled to a monthly stipend of Sh20,000. Those who will teach in primary school will earn Sh15,000.  

Macharia said the intern contract is meant to equip and sustain the competencies of persons entering the teaching service and lapses after one year.

‘‘The programme targets unemployed registered teachers to be assigned to learning institutions where their teaching experience will be enhanced through mentorship, coaching and exposure to practical teaching experiences,’’ she said.

According to TSC, JSS teachers must be holders of at least a diploma in education with a minimum of C+ (Plus) and C+ (Plus) in two teaching subjects in KCSE.

Those applying to teach in primary schools should be holders of a P1 Certificate.

Macharia said the commission targets to employ at least 25,000 teachers per year for the next five years whenever funds are available.

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