The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will use primary school teachers for teaching Grade 7 and 8 learners as it plans to appeal a court order barring it from terminating contract for 21,500 junior school intern teachers.
A number of primary school headteachers have confirmed that they are under instruction to ensure learning goes on in junior school when school reopens.
Currently there are around 7,400 teachers in junior school who were deployed from primary school in March this year.
The Commission is awaiting a budget to start recruitment of more teachers in junior school to handle Grade 8 learners.
Primary and secondary schools will reopen on 8th January 2023 according to a calendar by Ministry of Education.
TSC is yet to recruit teachers who will handle Grade 8 learners. The Commission is at loggerheads with junior school intern teachers over internship contract.
The junior school intern teachers are planning to go on strike in January when schools reopen.
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 Commission want the intern teachers to renew internship contracts, promising them of confirmation to permanent terms after the two year contract.
However the intern teachers have rejected this saying they want to be confirmed to permanent and pensionable terms after serving for one year internship.
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.