TSC orders teacher interns to resume work

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 14 May, 2024 21:56 | 2 mins read
TSC CEO Nancy Macharia. PHOTO/@TSC_KE/X
TSC CEO Nancy Macharia. PHOTO/@TSC_KE/X

Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has issued a directive for teachers enrolled in the Teacher Internship Programme to resume their duties amidst ongoing demonstrations.

Addressing the recent unrest among teacher interns, TSC said in a press statement to the media on Tuesday, May 14 that the Teacher Internship Programme, designed by the national government, aims to offer practical working experience to educators.

Addressing concerns raised by the Forum for Good Governance and Human Rights, who petitioned the court against the Teacher Internship Programme, the TSC acknowledged the legal challenge.

TSC said the court ruled in favour of the petitioner, yet suspended the judgment until August 1, 2024.

"The attention of the Teachers Service Commission is drawn to media reports on demonstrations by teacher interns. The Commission wishes to state as follows: i. The Teacher Internship Programme is a national government initiative aimed at providing practical working experience. ii. The Forum for Good Governance and Human Rights, petitioned the Court challenging the Teacher Internship Programme. iii. The Court ruled in favor of the petitioner but subsequently stayed the judgement until 1st August, 2024," TSC said.

Despite the ongoing legal proceedings, the TSC emphasized the importance of compliance with the court order.

They urged teacher interns participating in the programme to return to their assigned schools promptly.

"The Commission calls upon the teacher interns engaged under the programme to obey the court order and go back to school as teaching and learning in all public schools formally resumed on 13th May, 2024. The Commission remains committed and responsive to issues affecting the Teaching Service," TSC stated.

Notably, teaching and learning activities in all public schools officially resumed on May 13, 2024.

TSC, Interns

In Makueni and Nakuru Counties, junior secondary school teachers took to the streets on Monday, May 13, 2024, to demand improved pay and permanent employment status.

In Nakuru, 2,419 teachers from 11 sub-counties joined together, refusing to return to school until their demands were met.

They were asking for interns to be confirmed and compensated for their internship period, citing a recent court ruling that deemed intern teacher positions illegal.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court ruled three weeks ago that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) had violated fair labour practices by offering internship positions to qualified and licensed teachers.

According to Justice Byrum Ongaya's ruling, the commission is only authorized to hire those who are qualified and registered, not student-teachers or interns. The teachers are now insisting on permanent and pensionable employment terms.

In Wote, Makueni County, spokesperson Erastus Mawewu expressed their frustration at being paid only Ksh17,000 despite their qualifications. Mawewu highlighted that they were promised a one-year non-renewable contract but later found out that internship contracts were deemed illegal by the court.

He emphasized their dedication to teaching under the new curriculum, often covering material not taught during their university education. Despite their four years of university study, they feel undervalued and marginalized by the government. Their resolve is clear: they will not return to work until they are recognized and treated fairly.

"We are frustrated because the agreement was for a one-year contract, non-renewable. We filed a case in court and were assured that internship contracts were illegal," Mawewu stated.

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