A section of recently employed Junior Secondary School (JSS) teachers have been mandated by their administrators to teach primary school classes.
During Saturday’s Siaya County KUPPET Branch Annual General Meeting, Siaya County Executive Secretary of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), Mr. Sam Opondo, stated that assigning JSS teachers to primary school classes contradicts their designated roles.
“In some schools, JSS teachers are required to teach primary school classes and subjects for which they haven’t received training,” he pointed out.
KUPPET highlighted a strained relationship between the heads of institutions and JSS teachers in many schools. This has been attributed to an inferiority complex by non-graduate head teachers.
Most of the recently recruited JSS teachers are graduates who, under the 8-4-4 curriculum, would have been assigned to teach in secondary schools.
The Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms has proposed that heads of Pre-Primary, Primary, and Junior schools must hold graduate qualifications.
Opondo further emphasized that Junior schools are understaffed, and many teachers must handle more than 10 subjects daily. Consequently, he argued that forcing JSS teachers to teach additional subjects in primary school violates their rights, especially when they are already struggling with the substantial workload in JSS.
The KUPPET Siaya Branch stressed that most JSS institutions suffer from inadequate infrastructure.
“Practical activities are nearly impossible to carry out. JSS teachers lack furniture, stationery, lab equipment, among other necessities,” Opondo stated.
He further noted that there is minimal or no support provided to teachers conducting extracurricular activities.
“Some schools only give JSS teachers sh50 when they perform official duties outside the school. This is unacceptable, and starting next week, we will be visiting our JSS colleagues across the county,” stated Opondo.
Another JSS teacher, who sought anonymity, shared that he has had to trek with his students for more than three kilometers to and from a senior secondary school where they conduct practical lessons. He stressed that ensuring the safety of all students during this trek borders on persecution.
Robert Ouko, Siaya County KUPPET chairman, encouraged all members to seek assistance from their office whenever they encounter challenges.
“If you encounter professional challenges at any point… do not hesitate to consult with our dedicated team. Kuppet is power,” Ouko reassured.