Blow to TSC: Court Suspends Intern Teachers Show-Cause Letters

The Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELRC) has issued an interim order prohibiting the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) from pursuing disciplinary actions against intern teachers pending the resolution of a labor dispute between the teachers’ employer and the Ministry of Education.

7,357 intern teachers nationwide have received show-cause letters from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

The intern teachers, represented by the Forum for Good Governance and Human Rights and backed by lawyer Samson Omechi Ongera, argued in court that they were not considered employees of TSC.

Therefore, TSC does not have the authority to issue disciplinary measures against them.

According to the lawyer, the issuance of show-cause letters violates the Employment Act because the teachers are not under the commission’s employment, as confirmed by TSC’s statements in a previous affidavit.

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Justice Byram Ongaya’s ruling emphasized that show-cause letters can only be issued to individuals employed under permanent and pensionable terms.

Since the intern teachers do not fall under this category, they cannot be subjected to the provisions outlined in Section 12 of the Employment Act.

“All those teachers fall below any instruments of employment and therefore they cannot be subjected to the regulations made under Section 12 of the Employment Act and yet they are not employees of the TSC by law,” the lawyer argued in the affidavit, the first respondent being TSC.

According to Article 237(2) of the Kenyan constitution, the TSC is mandated to register qualified teachers for service, and individuals must be registered to engage in teaching.

Questionable recruitment

Samson Omechi Ongera, the Secretary General of the NGO asserted that the TSC’s ongoing engagement of these teachers as interns, despite their professional qualifications, was questionable, given the irregularities in their recruitment process.

The dispute arose after TSC sent show-cause letters to the intern teachers, part of a group of 46,000 recruited last year.

The letters were sent because the teachers had not reported for duty at the beginning of the second term.

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In response, the teachers took to the streets, demanding to be confirmed as permanent and pensionable employees.

A template of the show-cause letter addressed to the intern teachers expressed the commission’s concern over their absence from duty and stated its intention to terminate their internships if satisfactory reasons were not provided for their absence.

Blow to TSC: Court Suspends Intern Teachers Show-Cause Letters

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