Kuppet: JSS tutors strike goes on until demands are met

Intern teachers take to the streets in Naivasha calling on the government to employ them permanently. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

The Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) says the ongoing strike by Junior Secondary School (JSS) intern teachers will continue until their demands are met. 

The union accused the government of ignoring the teachers for the three weeks the strike has been on and says it is the learners that are suffering.

The 46,000 intern teachers are demanding adequate budgetary allocation in the next financial year that will ensure their concerns are met. 

Nakuru branch union chairman Simon Kimani says the intern teachers would not return to work until their demands are addressed.

He noted that the government had been paying them a meagre pay of Sh17,000 per month, which can not meet their daily needs.

He says the interns will not report to work despite threats and intimidation by heads of schools, adding that thousands of learners have been left to suffer. 

“The government is saying there is no money to meet the demands of teachers. But we have seen President William Ruto hiring a luxurious private jet at a cost of Sh200 million,” Kimani said. 

Nakuru Kuppet Secretary General Dancun Macharia said the court had since ruled the internship to be illegal and that the Teachers Service Commission ought to issue letters of confirmation before the interns resume their teaching services. 

Macharia told the parliamentary budget committee to effect adequate allocation to cater for the demands of all the intern teachers. 

George Owino, representing JSS teachers in Naivasha, says they will keep off classes until the government fulfils their demands. 

Owino said the Sh17,000 they are paid was too little to meet and sustain their daily needs at a time when the cost of living has skyrocketed.

“We want TSC to come clean on the status of intern teachers by ensuring that all the 46,000 teachers are issued with employment letters on permanent and pensionable terms,” said Owino. 

Issac Mungai, an intern teacher, regretted that despite TSC promising to confirm them after one year of service, it has extended the internship period to two years. 

“We are not going back to classrooms until our demands are met,” said Mungai.