KNUT Rejects Contract Extension For JSS Teachers, Demand Immediate Confirmation to PNP Terms
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut)has opposed extension of contract for intern teachers,saying they should now be put on permanent and pension-able terms.
Knut Secretary General Collins Oyuu yesterday said their proposal was to have the teachers serveon contract foroneyear only.
He made the remarks while calling on the teachers to desist from holding pro-tests,saying there are organised and steadfast waysto address their issues.
“We sat with TSC and signed a Memorandum of Understanding that says the teachers have been accepted as interns.Our proposal was for one year but now saying the contracts might be renewed…That will not happen,”Oyuu stated.
Oyuu was speaking on the sidelines of the inaugural Knut national electedwom·en leaders round-table,a precursorto the union’s 63d Annual DelegatesConference that will be held this week at Kasarani,Nairobi.
Oyuu,however,explained that the employment of teachers as interns has brought down youth unemployment,especialy in the teaching fraternity.
But the moment they were recruited as interns,the unions said there must be a definite period for which they will be interns.
“If we go by what is there legally,an in-tem is one who is nottrained and qualified and is waiting to be taken somewhere to exhibit the skills for what he/she trained for,then much later be confirmed,”he explained.
He added, “But this is a case where a teacher is trained and qualified like any interns was just to reduce the shortage but we want to say here and now,these teach-ers should be employed on permanent and It is a pathetic Sh17,000 and you are teaching in a town.”
He said Knut supports the wellbeing of teachers employed on contract and will be on the front line to ensure they are em-ployed on permanent and pensionable them to go to the streets,let us (Knut) take the frontline and they will come behind us.You do not incite them and then leave them,”Oyuu stated.
Oyuu further said the clamor to have teachers on permanent and pensionable even augmenting the salaries for those in permanent and pensionable terms is still on.
“What we criticise and I was very clear…This is a labour movement and we have other unions. It is wrong to incite or take advantage of ignorance of that yung teacher who is not even permanently em-ployed and then you take him out there to go and demonstrate.It is Knut that should advocate for these teachers who are sup-posed to be employed on permanent and pensionable terms,”he affirmed.
At the same time,Oyuu stated that the recommendation by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform (PWPER),which places premium on foundational learning to avert future crisis in education, is the way-forward and should be supported by all education stakeholders.
He explained that foundational learning refers to basic literacy,numeracy and transferable skills that are the building blocks for a life of learning and these are effectively attained and imparted at primary school level.
“Knut holds that effective policies on foundational learning as proposed by PWPER should be adopted in whole without adulteration,” he said.
The Knut boss at the same time noted that most of these teachers are lapsing their contractual terms and do not know what to do or how the commission will handle their cases.
The contract of the first cohort of 20,000 JSS intern teachers is coming to an end on December 31 and another cohort of 1,000 primary school teachers is ending on April 1 next year so is the same for the other cohort of 450 secondary school teachers.
“The contract of the second cohort of 18,000 Junior Secondary School teachers is coming to an end on September 1, 2024the same applies to 2,000 teachers on the same terms in primary schools,” he said.
On promotion, Oyuu said there are discrepancies where some senior graduate teachers serving as head teachers are in D1 yet others with the same qualifications are still in C5.
This, he said, is a group of teachers with the same qualifications, same job group before they faced the interview and in new positions, performing same roles and facing the same challenges yet earning different salaries and allowances contrary to part II section 5 of the Labour Relations Act of2007.
“The affected teachers feel demotivated and unappreciated even as they continue discharging their duties.Discriminating workers in the current dispensation of work where job evaluation is the order of the day with strict adherence to job con-tent,related duties, minimum qualifications needed to perform the job,decision making level of each job,requisite accountability,impact of the job,undermines the spirit of equal pay for equal work done,”he stated.
Separately,the National Parents Association Chairman Silas Obuhatsa joined the debate,saying intern teachers have threatened to abscond duty in January if their contacts are extended.
He said these teachers are qualified who deserve better treatment and should be on the official payroll and be assured of their jobs from January.
“If they abscond from work in January, parents are going to suffer and we are seriously and negotiate with TSC to have these teachers employed on permanent and pensionable terms,”Obuhatsa said.