The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is likely to sack obstinate junior secondary school (JSS) intern teachers planning to strike in January as schools reopen.
The Commission has allegedly devised a plan to terminate contracts for striking intern teachers and subsequently advertise their positions .
TSC aimed to fill these vacancies with numerous unemployed graduate teachers, replacing the intern teachers who are resisting to renew their contracts.
Currently, the Commission has a total of 46,000 teachers on its payroll working under internship terms, both in primary and junior secondary school (JSS).
TSC has urged all intern teachers to renew their contracts for another year before potential confirmation to permanent and pensionable terms in 2025.
Last week, President William Ruto assured JSS interns of employment after completing a two-year internship.
Despite the president’s assurance, some interns remain dissatisfied, arguing that they are qualified and registered with TSC and should not be treated like those in college training, receiving stipends instead of salaries.
A recent court order issued by Justice Byram Ongaya, instructed TSC not to terminate teachers’ contracts pending the resolution of the dispute.
The JSS National Interim Leadership, representing the teachers, has called on TSC to honor the agreement and the court order.
They emphasized that the court order affects 21,500 JSS interns, and their failure to report to schools in January 2024 could result in an educational crisis.
In a statement read on behalf of the group, Mr. Bornface Omari stated, “From January, we will down tools to paralyse learning in JSS unless we are employed on permanent and pensionable terms.”
The teachers allege that the initial agreement was for a one-year non-renewable contract as interns before transitioning to permanent jobs.
The tutors accuse the government of attempting to coerce them into accepting new contracts, contrary to the terms initially agreed upon.
The labor court directive issued on December 19, 2023, explicitly prohibits TSC and the Ministry of Education from altering the provisions of the internship contracts until the legal proceedings are concluded.
The contracts, scheduled to end on December 31, 2023, include a clause preventing renewal, precluding any attempts to extend the internships beyond January.