The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has announced that over 46,000 intern teachers, hired this year, will witness an extension of their contracts in January for an additional year before attaining permanent and pensionable status in 2025.
TSC CEO Nancy Macharia informed the Senate Committee on Education on November 30 that the teachers’ contracts would expire in January 2024. However, due to the lack of budgetary allocation for their permanent employment, the commission plans to extend their contracts.
“We don’t have money for employing them on permanent and pensionable basis but we have money for extension of their contracts. If we’re given the money, we’ll absorb it,” She stated.
Macharia emphasized that intern teachers would be given priority in filling school vacancies, and their hiring would occur automatically without the need for advertising the positions.
Majority of the teachers are currently assigned to junior schools, which only had Grade Seven this year. With an additional class next year, the workload on these teachers is expected to double.
Interns in junior and secondary schools earn Sh20,000 per month, while those in primary schools earn Sh15,000 per month.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) recently advocated for confirmation of the teachers’ contracts to permanent terms, warning that failing to do so before the January 2024 expiration could disrupt the implementation of the competency-based curriculum (CBC) during the progression to Grade Eight.
KUPPET Secretary-General Akello Misori stressed the importance of safeguarding the educational system from disruptions, highlighting the vital role intern teachers play in the CBC transition.
“The teachers have persevered extremely demoralising conditions of service. They are paid just half of their deserved salaries. They enjoy no medical insurance and do not contribute to the pension scheme for teachers. Ironically, they are taxed at the same level as other teachers of their grade,” Mr Misori said.
During the Senate committee meeting, Macharia disclosed that TSC had 34,970 teachers on the waiting list for promotions, with 21,051 in Grade C3 and 13,919 in Grade C5.
The CEO boss revealed these promotions have not been effected due to lack of enough funds but 36,512 positions have been advertised, and interviews will commence on December 4 in various counties, costing the government Sh1.1 billion.