HomeEducation NewsTSC NEWSCourt Faults TSC For Posting Intern Teachers to JSS

Court Faults TSC For Posting Intern Teachers to JSS

The approximately 60,000 educators hired by the Teachers Service Commission on internships may compel their employer to provide them with full salary for their tenure. This development surfaced following a ruling by the Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELRC) yesterday, which concluded that the commission violated their right to equitable labor practices by assigning them intern roles despite their qualifications and possession of teaching licenses.

Nevertheless, this decision also casts uncertainty over the fate of Junior Secondary Schools, just two weeks prior to the commencement of the second term. These educators have been instrumental in implementing the Competency-Based Curriculum at Junior Secondary Schools.

In his verdict, Justice Byrum Ongaya stipulated that the commission is restricted from hiring or engaging student-teachers or interns, as its mandate is solely to employ those who are qualified and registered.

The program was introduced to address the shortage of teachers in schools and simultaneously functioned as a rapid training initiative to supply educators for Junior Secondary Schools.

However, this ruling compounds the array of challenges confronting the internship program, including significant opposition to its extension. Initially slated to run for one year before absorption into permanent, pensionable positions, in December, President William Ruto announced an extension of another year before interns could be considered for permanent employment.

In the court case, it was revealed that the interns were contracted to teach two subjects but ended up teaching a broader range, including sciences and mathematics.

Furthermore, discontent arose among the interns as some of their peers were offered permanent positions while they were retained under terms akin to those of teachers in colleges and universities, who are placed in schools for teaching practice.

There were allegations that despite receiving an ‘intern stipend,’ the Teachers Service Commission deducted all requisite taxes and contributions mandated by the government, including the contentious housing levy.

The lawsuit was filed by the Forum for Good Governance and Human Rights on behalf of the interns, asserting that those hired lacked adequate supervision and were left to handle multiple subjects independently. An affected teacher, Oroso Oganga, recounted his experience at Eking Narok Primary School in Kajiado County. Despite holding a Bachelor of Education (Arts) degree, his teaching responsibilities extended beyond History or Christian Religious Education to encompass Computer Science, Integrated Science, Social Studies, CRE, Health Education, and Life Skills. He was also tasked with class administration and management, yet received only a nominal stipend of Sh20,000.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) lauded the court ruling as a significant triumph for intern teachers. This ruling potentially opens avenues for interns to transition into permanent positions. KNUT Secretary-General Collins Oyuu expressed reservations about the internship program itself, criticizing the treatment of fully qualified teachers as trainees as inherently unjust.

Popular Posts