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Hiring teachers a desperate move: Sossion

Sossion encouraged teachers to remain focused and look at the long term results despite any such action from TSC.

Sossion encouraged teachers to remain focused and look at the long term results despite any such action from TSC.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 1 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has termed the move by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to advertise for relief teachers as desperate.

The union’s Secretary General Wilson Sossion has described it as an attempt to break the spirit of public school teachers who have not gone back to work since the third term began.

Sossion encouraged teachers to remain focused and look at the long term results despite any such action from TSC.

“What does TSC aim to achieve by advertising for the posts? All they want to do is to undermine the strike which I can describe as successful. Who will pay those teachers and with what money? Instead of hiring more, they should use the funds to pay the salary increase awarded to us,” he told Capital FM News.

The KNUT boss stated that teachers will not in any way be coerced to be involved in the supervision or marking of the national examinations which are currently underway.

“Let all our branches across the country guide teachers, heads and principals to ensure that no teacher supervises the national examinations until they get instructions from KNUT headquarters; Teachers keep away from schools or examination centers,” he said.

TSC has advertised 70,000 vacancies for primary and secondary school teachers to alleviate the effects of the ongoing strike.

A statement issued by the commission says 20, 000 secondary school positions and 50,000 primary school level are available for qualified Kenyans.

TSC says the relief teachers will be hired on a three month contract upon which they will be considered for permanent employment when vacancies arise.

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Interested candidates are required to apply through the commission’s County Directors at their respective home counties not later than Monday next week.

To apply for a teaching position in the secondary schools, candidates are required to have a minimum of a diploma and a P1 certificate for primary schools.

The four-week crisis in the education sector deteriorated after KNUT and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (KUPPET), declared it would not relent on the nationwide strike even as the Supreme Court, again, declined to suspend the disputed 50-60 per cent pay increment.

The teachers’ unions on Tuesday declined to honour an order issued by Employment and Labour Relations Court Justice Nelson Aboudha who suspended the ongoing teachers strike for 90 days and ordered tutors to resume duty immediately.

In the meantime, the appeal by TSC on the pay increase awarded to them by the Employment and Labor Relations court resumed Thursday morning at the Court of Appeal.
The government contended that the award was illegal since the judge who awarded it had no jurisdiction over the matter.

In his submissions Wednesday, Attorney General Githu Muigai stated that Justice Nduma Nderi’s description of the matter as an economic dispute is not recognised anywhere in law.

In the AG’s opinion, the Judge ought to have referred the teachers pay dispute to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

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