Junior Secondary School teachers suspend strike till July 5

Junior Secondary School teachers, who have been on strike since April 17, have suspended their work boycott until July 5.

The 46,000 graduates, who were hired in 2019 as intern teachers, said they suspended the strike to give the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) time to employ them on permanent and pensionable terms.

They are also waiting for the National Assembly to pass the budget on Thursday, June 13. Their national spokesperson, Omari Omari, has urged the TSC to release the circular on their confirmation once the budget has been passed.

“After a meeting with JSS county leaders, we arrived at a decision to suspend our demonstrations and wait for Parliament to pass the budget on Thursday. By that date, we should have received communication on the status of the confirmation of the 46,000 teachers,” said Mr Omari. In a statement to newsrooms, the JSS teachers were urged to return to class as from tomorrow.

“Please note that this means the strike that began on April 17, has not been called off, but suspended until July 5. By that date, we should have received communication on the status of the confirmation of the 46,000 teachers,” said Mr Omari.

He said that they have had a series of meetings with the National Assembly Committee on Labour and the National Assembly Committee on Education and presented their demands. Top on the agenda is the confirmation of all the 46,000 interns.

“They agreed to our demands and presented them to the Budget and Appropriation Committee. The matter was tabled in Parliament and we are now waiting for it to be passed,” he said.

Mr Omari said that the Members of Parliament urged them to suspend their protests until after the budget is passed. Members of the committees further requested the striking intern teachers to give the TSC time to get money and prepare for their recruitment.

“In respect to the seriousness with which they (MPs) have, so far, handled our issues, and for the great love and care we have for the children of the poor Kenyan parents, we have decided to take their word and suspend our demonstrations,” Mr Omari said.

However, he reminded the lawmakers that the ruling made by the courts that internship is illegal still stands.

“After consulting our legal team we, therefore, wish to inform them that we shall go back to classrooms to teach as from Monday, not as interns but as volunteers. We are doing this because we seem to be the only people in the education sector who care for the children of Mama Mboga,” said Mr Omari.

He said that they will volunteer to teach for the next four weeks, however, if the commission would not have communicated on their confirmation by July 5, they will return to the streets.

“Teaching is a noble profession and many a time, like today, we make sacrifices for the sake of the future of our nation. But we have shown the TSC and the government that they cannot take advantage of our caring nature to enslave us or exploit us,” said Mr Omari. He said that a qualified, registered and licensed teacher should not be enslaved in the name of internship.

Mr Omari assured all the JSS teachers that they have not quit, but have taken a pause to give room for the necessary processes to be effected.

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