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HomeInternationalKENYAPermanent Jobs Secured for Over 20,000 Intern Teachers in Kenya

Permanent Jobs Secured for Over 20,000 Intern Teachers in Kenya

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In a significant development, the Kenyan government has announced that at least 20,000 intern teachers will now be granted permanent jobs starting in July. This decision was made during a parliamentary group meeting of the ruling coalition Kenya Kwanza, held at State House.

The parliamentary group was informed that funds have been provided to absorb these teachers next month. This move is crucial as the pioneer class of junior secondary school students is set to enter Grade 9 in January 2024. The newly employed teachers will be instrumental in executing the teaching duties in these junior secondary schools.

Moreover, the Kenya Kwanza parliamentary group was also informed that Sh18 billion has been allocated to employ all junior secondary teachers on internship. This comes after a prolonged standoff between the teachers and their employer, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), over the employment status of the interns.

The allocation of these funds follows months of a standoff, a strike, layoffs, and even a pending court case between the interns and the employer. In May, the TSC had indicated that it required Sh30 billion to convert all the intern contracts to permanent and pensionable terms.

Due to budget constraints, the TSC had initially planned to employ the teachers in two batches, with the first batch of 26,000 teachers requiring Sh6.6 billion to convert their posts to permanent employment. The Sh18 billion allocation will now be sufficient to successfully hire the first cohort of 26,000 interns on permanent and pensionable terms.

However, the fate of the remaining 20,000 interns remains uncertain, as funds may not be appropriated in the 2024/2025 budget. The employment of teachers on an internship basis has been a contentious issue, leading to a standoff, a strike, layoffs, and a pending court case between the interns and the TSC.

The interns have argued that they are subjected to unfair labor practices, as they execute the same workload as their peers on permanent and pensionable terms but are paid much less. In April, the Employment and Labour Relations Court had suspended the employment of tutors on an intern basis, agreeing with the interns that it was an unfair labor practice.

However, the TSC contested the decision at the Court of Appeal and obtained a reprieve, meaning the interns will have to continue working in their current positions until the case is heard and determined.

The allocation of Sh18 billion to convert the first batch of 26,000 intern teachers to permanent and pensionable positions is a significant step forward in addressing the concerns of these educators and ensuring the smooth transition to junior secondary education in Kenya.

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