The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) plans to deploy primary school teachers to handle Grade 7 and 8 students, as it intends to challenge a court directive preventing it from terminating contracts for 21,500 junior school intern teachers.
A number of primary school headteachers have confirmed that they have received instructions to ensure learning takes place normally in JSS upon school reopening.
Currently, there are about 7,400 teachers in junior school who were redeployed from primary school in March this year.
The Commission is awaiting budgetary approval to initiate the recruitment of additional teachers in junior school to cater to Grade 8 students.
As per a schedule issued by Education Cs Ezekiel Machogu, ECD, Primary and secondary schools are scheduled to reopen on January 8, 2023.
TSC has not yet hired Grade 8 teachers and there is an ongoing disagreement with junior school intern teachers regarding the internship contract.
The junior school intern teachers are planning to go on strike in January when schools reopen.
The teachers, in collaboration with the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), have staged protests in various counties against TSC’s plan to extend the internship contract.
The Commission want the intern teachers to renew their internship contracts, with the promise of permanent confirmation after the two-year contract period.
However, the intern teachers have rejected this proposal, insisting on immediate confirmation to permanent and pensionable terms after completing a one-year internship.
TSC is pushing for a two-year internship contract before conversion to permanent and pensionable terms in January 2025.
President William Ruto recently announced a government policy change, extending the internship duration to two years.
Ruto assured junior school intern teachers of employment once they complete the two-year contract.
Last week, Justice Byram Ongaya issued a court order restraining TSC from terminating contracts for the 21,500 junior school intern teachers amid the dispute.
The contracts were originally set to end on December 31, 2023, with a clause prohibiting renewal, preventing any attempts to extend internships beyond January.