Looming crisis in JSS

Looming crisis in JSS

Looming crisis in JSS

The government must hire thousands of intern teachers on permanent, pensionable  terms in accordance with an earlier agreement, or else they will not return to work in  January. This could be disastrous for the Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) where  they were posted.

In an effort to solve the issue of the teacher shortage, the Teachers Service  Commission (TSC) hired 46,000 intern teachers to fill the void. 21,500 of them were used in JSS deployments.

Last Sunday, President William Ruto assured JSS interns of employment once they serve for two years.

“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.”

The arrangement hasn’t proven comfortable for the interns, though. They said they are registered with TSC, are qualified, and do not understand why  they are receiving a stipend instead of a wage, treating them like they are still in  college  training.

Inspired by Justice Byram Ongaya’s ruling in court that TSC should not cancel the  interns’ contracts due to the disagreement, the interns said they would not be  returning to work when classes resume.

The judge ruled that TSC cannot end the internship program until a case that was  brought before him had been heard and decided.

Yesterday, the instructors urged TSC to follow the court decision and the accord,  rallying behind the banner of JSS National Interim Leadership.

“The existing court order affects 21,500 JSS interns, and their failure to report to schools come January 8, 2024, could lead to an educational crisis,” said Mr Bornface Omari, who read a statement on their behalf.

He added: “From January, we will down tools to paralyse learning in JSS unless we are employed on permanent and pensionable terms.” 

The teachers said 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.

Teachers claimed the government was attempting to force them to sign a new  contract that was different from the one they had originally signed.

Many of our members have received calls asking them to sign new contracts, the  details of which we are unaware of.

We don’t know why we’re being pressured to sign such agreements. Additionally, we’re saying, ‘no teaching, no permanent jobs,’ added Nairobian teacher  Evans Ochieng.

“We have been in court, we have an order, and we will not be returning to class,” he  continued.

It is specifically forbidden for TSC and the Ministry of Education to change the  terms of internship contracts until the legal proceedings are over, according to  a labor court ruling dated December 19, 2023.

Contracts have an expiration date of December 31, 2023. Any attempt to prolong the internships past January is barred by a stipulation in  the contracts that says they are not subject to renewal.

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