Intern teachers claim TSC out to sabotage push for employment

JSS teachers protest in Kisumu County. The teachers have issued a strike notice to TSC. [Michael Mute, Standard]

Intern teachers now claim that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is planning to employ teachers beginning Monday next week.

The 21,000 tutors further allege that the TSC is secretly giving out their slots through Members of Parliament.

Speaking after peaceful protests in Nairobi, on Thursday, the Junior Secondary Interim National Secretary General Daniel Murithi said the move by the teachers' employer is ill-advised.

‘‘We request President Ruto to look for advisors of his predecessors to advise him on the best policies that can run the education sector. Education cannot be run by politics and politicians," he said.

The National Treasurer, Patience Kaani echoed Muriithi's sentiments claiming that TSC is toothless and has left its role to the political class.

"We have gathered reports that the Ministry of Education is handing over letters of employment to teachers at funerals, MPs and Women Representatives are chest thumping and handing letters to new graduates in villages," Kaari claimed.

The teachers had complained of heavy workload, merging of subjects without consulting them, understaffing in schools with little pay and poor working environment.

"We are underpaid and unmotivated. We feel our career is being wasted. We are not reporting to schools on Monday, teaching is not taking place. We cannot be intimidated," the said. 

KUPPET officials lead JSS teachers in protest along the streets of Bomet town. [Gilbert Kimutai, Standard]

On January 3, the teachers issued a strike notice to TSC but they have now resolved to move to court citing attempts to sabotage their quest.

"The policy of employing teachers on contract has always been one year. All of a sudden, it has changed to two years over claims of poor economy. If they go behind our backs and employ new graduates on permanent terms, we will meet them in court," Kaari said.

She claimed that TSC structures have collapsed due to political interference.

"Teachers who graduated recently are being handed permanent and pensionable letters to report to school come January 8, yet there is a teacher who has been serving for the last 11 years and now as an intern on contract. That is unethical and demoralizing," the national treasurer said.

Last year, President William Ruto said the government will employ more teachers to bridge the shortage.

‘‘Additional Sh47 billion to enable TSC to hire 56,000 new teachers and other interventions and Sh24 billion for Junior Secondary Schools and to support the construction of additional infrastructure,’’ President Ruto said.

Kaari warned that the tutors are not ready to be taken in circles.

"They are saying that they are going to employ another 56,000 teachers this year, yet there are another 46,000 on contract," Kaari noted.