TSC’s Plan to Use P1 Teachers for Grade 7 and 8 Amidst Legal Challenges

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is set to deploy primary school teachers (P1) to teach Grade 7 and 8 classes following a court order preventing the termination of contracts for 21,500 junior school intern teachers. The commission plans to appeal the court order while ensuring continuous learning in junior schools.

Current Scenario

Presently, approximately 7,400 teachers in junior schools were deployed from primary schools in March of the current year. However, with the legal challenges and the court order, TSC is yet to recruit teachers specifically for Grade 8 learners. The reopening of primary and secondary schools is scheduled for January 8, 2023, as per the Ministry of Education’s calendar.

Tensions have arisen between TSC and junior school intern teachers regarding the extension of internship contracts. The commission is seeking to renew the internship contracts for two years, promising confirmation to permanent terms after the completion of the two-year contract. Conversely, intern teachers are advocating for permanent and pensionable terms after serving a one-year internship, as initially agreed upon.

President’s Statement

President William Ruto recently announced a change in government policy, stating that internship for teachers would now last for two years before they are employed on permanent and pensionable terms. The intern teachers are expected to resume work in January, and the President assured them of employment once they complete the two-year internship.

Despite the President’s statement, intern teachers maintain that the initial agreement was for a one-year, non-renewable contract before transitioning to permanent jobs. They accuse the government of attempting to coerce them into accepting a new contract that contradicts the terms initially agreed upon.

A court order by Justice Byram Ongaya has restrained TSC from terminating the contracts of the 21,500 junior school intern teachers. The judge ordered that the internship arrangements not be terminated until the case is heard and determined. TSC is planning to appeal this court order, raising concerns about potential disruptions to learning in the upcoming year.

Final Thoughts

The ongoing legal dispute between TSC and junior school intern teachers poses challenges to the smooth operation of schools. The decision to use P1 teachers for Grade 7 and 8 classes reflects the urgency to maintain continuity in education amidst these legal complexities. The appeal by TSC introduces an element of uncertainty that could impact the learning environment in the coming year.

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