A total of 26,000 contract teachers who have been serving since last year will no longer have to wait until January 2025 to be offered permanent positions.

On Monday, the National Assembly’s Education and Research Committee agreed that these Junior Secondary School (JSS) teachers, who have been on strike, will now be employed starting July 1, 2024.

The committee, led by Tinderet Member of Parliament Julius Melly, overturned the previous plan by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to give the teachers jobs next year. The JSS teachers have been on strike since the beginning of this term to pressure TSC into giving them permanent employment.

Mr. Melly informed the budget committee that 8.3 billion shillings had been allocated to provide permanent jobs for these teachers.

“Starting the next financial year, TSC should prepare to finalize the recruitment plan because funds have now been allocated for this purpose,” Mr. Melly said in his presentation to the budget committee regarding the funds allocated to the education sector in the 2024/25 budget.

“TSC will offer permanent employment to 26,000 JSS teachers starting July 2024 and not January 2025 as previously proposed,” he said.

The JSS teachers’ strike has disrupted learning activities in various schools since the beginning of this term. Last week, TSC wrote to 7,357 of these teachers asking them to explain their absenteeism.

TSC has been hiring teachers through a convoluted contract scheme since 2019 and deploying them to primary and secondary schools.

Those in primary schools have been earning 15,000 shillings per month, while secondary school teachers receive 20,000 shillings per month.

Upon employment, JSS teachers will start earning 36,621 shillings per month, in addition to housing allowances ranging from 9,600 to 16,000 shillings depending on their work location.

They will also be entitled to leave days and benefit from the health insurance scheme for teachers.

The education committee also urged TSC to reassess the number of teachers needed nationwide so that they can use these figures to provide guidance on the funds required for recruitment and deployment to schools.

Mr. Melly added that an additional 4.68 billion shillings are needed to employ 20,000 more JSS teachers in the fiscal year starting July 2024.

The Tinderet MP stated that TSC requires 1 billion shillings to promote teachers and 13 billion shillings will be directed towards salary increments as per the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement.