TSC given Sh13 billion to hire ‘interns’ on permanent terms

JSS teachers

Junior Secondary School teachers hold a protest match along the streets of Kakamega town on Tuesday last week calling for interns to be employed on permanent and pensionable terms.

Photo credit: Isaac Wale | Nation Media Group

The 46,000 public school teachers on contract have a reason to smile after the National Treasury allocated Sh13.4 billion to their employer for conversion of their terms to permanent.

The allocation is an increase from the Sh8.3 billion that had earlier been proposed by the Budget Appropriations Committee, which targeted 26,000 tutors.

The employees, who have been serving in the controversial “internship” scheme and mainly deployed in junior schools, had taken the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to court over the matter.

TSC received the biggest allocation (Sh358.2 billion) of the 2024 -2025 budget presented to the National Assembly. Education, as has been the case in many years, took the lion’s share of the budget at Sh656.6 billion or 27.6 per cent.

The State Department for Basic Education has an allocation of Sh142.3 billion. Its programmes include Free Primary Education (Sh9.1 billion), Free Day Secondary Education (Sh61.9 billion), Junior Secondary School (Sh30.7 billion) and national examinations fee waiver (Sh5 billion). Under FPE, a learner is allocated Sh1,420 while those in JSS get Sh15,042.

A student in FPE has an allocation of Sh22,244. However, less amounts reach the schools every year.

The disbursement is often delayed, leading to the institutions incurring huge debts to suppliers. Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association, the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association as well as teachers unions have in the past called for increased and timely funding.

There is also Sh1.3 billion for the training of teachers on competency-based curriculum and Sh360 million for the Digital Literacy Programme and ICT Integration in secondary school.

A total of Sh3.2 billion has been set aside for infrastructure development in primary and secondary schools and a further Sh1 billion for construction of classrooms for junior schools ahead of roll-out of Grade 9 in January 2025.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu says the ministry plans to put up 16,000 and 18,000 classrooms by the end of the year.