Teacher Interns Must Serve For Two Years Before Confirmation, Ruto Confirms
President William Ruto has stated that interns must take compulsory two years before being absorbed by the Government on permanent and pensionable terms. Ruto said that this is the Government policy that will be adopted in all sectors, not only for the teaching profession, even as he assured the Junior Secondary teachers that their contracts will continue in January. Once they complete their internship of two years, Ruto assured that they will be given the first priority when the government starts hiring on permanent and pensionable terms.
“We will hire everybody so they need to relax, let them go through the process and will have the first priority when we hire teachers after the internship. We are not only doing internship with teachers but also in many other sectors,” said Ruto in a televised interview on Sunday night. “JSS teachers will still work in January because the Kenya Kwanza Government manifesto provides that all sectors, before being hired on permanent and pensionable terms, you first work under an internship programme for two years,” he added.
The President also stated there is a new group of interns at the public service because internship is part of the learning and job process and will go through a similar trend. “So our interns, who are doing a good job as teachers, need to relax. Nobody is going to take their place in January. They will continue with their internship for two years which is a Government policy and will be hired after the two years as we absorb others into internship and graduate slowly,” he explained.
Separately, Education Cabinet Secretary, Ezekiel Machogu echoed similar sentiments saying the Government has employed over 56,000 teachers so far. Out of these, he said some have been employed in junior schools and also retooled those who were in existing primary schools on pedagogical skills and are now able to teach there to improve of capacity. “We have quite a number of them who have completed school be it universities or diploma and there is a Government policy not only in teaching but also in other sectors where we have internships.
Internship means that you will be able to teach one or two years and you are on the way to being absorbed on permanent and pensionable terms,” said Machogu, who spoke at Lenana School Nairobi.
He added: “We have been able to absorb quite a number of them and progressively as we get to another year, we will then absorb the remaining JSS teachers who are on internship because the criteria for employment now is that you must start as an intern in order for you to be able to qualify for permanent and pensionable.” The JSS teachers have been demanding that they be absorbed on a permanent and pensionable basis, as their unions called for their restraint. KNUT Secretary General, Collins Oyuu said earlier this month that the union’s proposal was to have them work on contract basis for a period of one year only and no more than that since they are now qualified.
Oyuu also urged the young intern teachers that they should not allow themselves to be exploited by protesting on the streets, saying there are organised and steadfast ways to handle teachers’ issues. “We sat with TSC and we signed a memorandum of understanding to say they have been accepted as interns, for how long and our proposal is one year but saying that the contracts might be renewed… What are you saying, that teachers will remain on contract forever? That will not happen,” said Oyuu.
Oyuu explained during the inaugural KNUT national elected women leaders round table that the employment of so many teachers as interns brought down youth unemployment and especially in the teaching fraternity. But when interns were recruited, the unions said there must be a definite period for which they will be interns or else they will be interns forever.
“If we go by what is there legally, an intern is one who is not trained 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.