In a recent media roundtable at State House, Nairobi, President William Ruto addressed the concerns of Junior Secondary School (JSS) intern teachers, providing assurance that employment awaits them after two years of dedicated service. This move, he emphasized, aligns with the government’s practice of requiring intern teachers to complete a two-year internship before being considered for permanent and pensionable positions.
President Ruto, adopting a calm and reassuring tone, encouraged the JSS intern teachers to embrace the process, assuring them that their efforts would be duly recognized. “The JSS intern teachers will be at work in January. We had promised that before being employed on permanent and pensionable terms in all the sectors, they must do an internship for two years,” he stated.
Highlighting the broader scope of the government’s initiatives, the President mentioned that the internship process is not exclusive to the education sector. He revealed ongoing internship processes in various other sectors, emphasizing the integral role internships play in the learning and job acquisition process.
Addressing the concerns raised by JSS intern teachers who have been working without proper employment terms for a year, President Ruto acknowledged their dedication and expressed the government’s commitment to prioritizing their employment after the completion of the two-year internship. This statement comes amid the teachers’ anxieties and the looming threat of a work boycott if their status is not confirmed by January.
The President’s announcement sheds light on the larger picture of internship practices within the government, with the Public Service Commission welcoming a new cohort of interns. This approach aims to provide individuals with a holistic learning experience before transitioning into permanent roles.
However, challenges persist as JSS intern teachers, hired on a one-year contract basis, face the prospect of renewing their contracts for another year. The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has been vocal in opposing contract extensions, advocating for the immediate transition of intern teachers to permanent and pensionable terms.
Collins Oyuu, the Secretary General of KNUT, reiterated the union’s stance, stating, “Our proposal was for one year, but now saying the contracts might be renewed… That will not happen.” The teachers are pushing for the fulfillment of the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Teacher Service Commission, emphasizing the need for a timely resolution.
As January approaches, the JSS intern teachers, spread across various counties, eagerly anticipate the commencement of their internships, hoping that the promised employment will follow suit. The situation remains fluid, with the government’s commitment to the internship process echoing its broader strategy for workforce development.