Nairobi intern teachers advocate for job security and educational reform

TSC CEO Nancy Macharia

In a recent development, interns at Nairobi Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) expressed their disappointment following an unconfirmed statement by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) hinting at the renewal of their terms of employment.

The interns, who remain hopeful for a positive resolution, are urging the government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Education and TSC, to take urgent action to secure the future of Kenyan students.

Addressing their concerns, the interns propose a two-fold solution to enhance the quality of education and ensure job security for the first cohort of JSS intern teachers starting from January 2024.

Firstly, they call for the confirmation of JSS intern teachers on permanent and pensionable terms.

This move is seen as crucial in providing stability and motivation to educators, ultimately benefiting the Kenyan child’s education.

Secondly, the interns propose the domiciling of JSS within existing day secondary schools. This strategic placement is aimed at granting students access not only to education but specifically to quality education.

The proposed benefits include improved access to Science, Technical, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, as well as social and arts pathways.

The interns argue that secondary schools already possess the necessary infrastructure to support these subjects, such as science labs, sports facilities and workshops for creative subjects.

This, they contend, stands in contrast to poorly equipped primary schools, which may lack the capacity to effectively implement the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) at the JSS level.

Highlighting critical shortcomings in public primary schools, the interns draw attention to the absence of essential infrastructure like science labs, sports facilities and technical workshops.

They assert that the lack of funding has contributed to the deficiency in these areas, impacting the overall quality of education.

Furthermore, the interns emphasize the shortage of human resources to handle technical and creative subjects, including computer science, foreign languages, home science, visual and performing arts.

They argue that this deficiency in staffing results from a lack of training and expertise in these specialized areas.

Expressing their dissatisfaction with the current approach, the interns reveal that TSC’s response involves assigning JSS teachers to handle subjects outside their areas of specialization.

This, they argue, creates a challenge for educators, such as a History/CRE teacher tasked with teaching Computer Science, Home Science, Physical Education, and other unrelated subjects.

The interns highlight their training and the expectation of confirmation, expressing frustration at being sent away from interview centres despite being acknowledged as TSC employees.

They also draw attention to the disparity between promises of employment made by Members of Parliament at funerals and the subsequent job advertisements that excluded them from interviews.

Their plea seeks a comprehensive and timely resolution to secure both their employment status and the quality of education for Kenyan students.

By Viola Chepkemoi

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