Why the TSC Teacher Internship programme is all wrong

The Teachers Service Commission, TSC, is under intense pressure for recruiting teachers on the internship programme. Not only the recruited interns who are opposed to the contractual terms. But, also, Members of Parliament have now joined the bandwagon of the naysayers. Come to think of it! That a graduate can earn as low as Sh10,000 per month in this century!

Indeed, the Government’s resolve to employ workers on internship is not only bad but also, quite unfortunate. A group of lawyers and individuals have taken the Commission to court and hearing of the petition is live in the corridors of Justice. Hope the interns will get justice.

Here are a few points that give the internship programme a grim picture:


The recruited interns have nothing to smile about, if their monthly perks are anything to go by. For the record, the Commission pays a graduate teacher, plying his/ her trade in high school, a paltry Sh15,000 per month. Their Primary school counterparts walk home with just Sh10,000 per month. And wait. I did not tell you that this meager pay is subjected to statutory deductions! They remit Pay as You Earn (PAYE) and National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) among other deductions. To make matters worse for this group of teachers, the government does not offer them any extra allowances.

It should be noted that teachers on Permanent and [pensionable terms earn such allowances as risk, commuter, annual leave and rental allowances.The Commission in its defense attributes the low pay to the stifled budgetary allocations from the National Treasury. As such the Treasury should be serious. The Government expects maximum productivity but with low investment in the human resource.

Come to think of it, that a colleague with similar qualifications (but employed on permanent and pensionable terms) and working in the same school earns triple this amount. This is quite demoralizing to the interns. You know what? The Intern teachers can not raise their voice for fear of victimization. Teachers employed by Boards of Management (BoMs) earn higher salaries than these interns.


The internship period is one year. So, what next? This is the big Q in the heads of the interns. There is no guarantee that the recruited interns will be absorbed on permanent and pensinable terms after serving their internship contract period.

The Government should start thinking seriously. That these teachers be absorbed without subjecting them to further agony. This way it will be a win-win situation for both parties.

Here are links to the most important news portals:


An intern teacher is expected to ‘complete assignments by the mentor teacher and/or supervisor and fulfil all learning and assessment as required by the programme.’ This is good for orientation purposes but should not be misused by the so called Supervisors.

The list is long. But hopefully the government will change tact and offers these teachers permanent jobs. Imagine going to school for all that long and you end up receiving pay that is much lower than that paid to a maid!


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