TSC faces January industrial action over unemployed intern teachers

TSC faces January industrial action over unemployed intern teachers

Intern teachers attached to junior school have vowed to paralyze learning when schools reopen in January.

Unless the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) converts them to permanent and pensionable (pnp) terms, the teachers have said they will not resume work next year.

The intern teachers accuse TSC of going against the internship agreement. They say according to the contract they were to serve for one year internship before being confirmed to pnp.

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

The teachers together with Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) have protested in various counties 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. The teachers accuse the government of trying to coerce them to consent to a new contract contrary to what they signed.

Last week Justice Byram Ongaya issued a court order restraining TSC from terminating contracts for the 21,500 junior school intern teachers over the dispute.

The intern teachers have said they will not resume duty when schools reopen till their demands are met.

The judge ordered TSC not to terminate internship arrangements until a case filed before him is heard and determined.

The contracts were to end in December 31, 2023. A clause in the contracts states that they are not open for renewal, preventing any attempts to extend the internships beyond January.

TSC is planning to appeal this court order which could disrupt learning next year. The Commission also plans to use P1 teachers to handle Grade 7 and 8 classes next year.

The Commission is awaiting a budget to start recruitment of more teachers in junior school to handle Grade 8 learners.


error: Content is protected !!