The government has been warned against any attempts to slash teachers’ salaries. Also receiving a red alert are the owners to private schools in the country. While addressing the press during the launch of a report on mitigation measures and recommendations on reopening of learning institutions, on Wednesday, knut secretary General Wilson Sossion said teachers’ salaries shall continue to remain intact.
“Salaries of teachers must be protected. No one, whether government or private entities, should use Covid-19 to hold the salaries of teachers,” Sossion said.
This comes even as uncertainty reigns supreme on the exact dates when schools are going to be reopened. This is after all learning institutions were closed in mid-March after Kenya reported the first case of Covid 19.
Most teachers employed by the schools’ boards are yet to receive a penny for the last couple of months with the schools facing a financial crunch due to the cut in cash flow.
“The last salary I received was in the month of February. I have rent arrears and a family to feed. If this condition persists, then Am seeing a situation where I may face starvation. I have tried to reach the principal. His calls went unanswered before he switched off his phone completely,” said one high school teacher working on BOM terms and who decided to remain anonymous.
Most schools, if not all, have sent their staff on unpaid leaves since they can not meet their monthly wages’ demands. Teachers employed by TSC continue to receive their full salaries as they are on indefinite leave. Read full news here; All teachers given indefinite leave by TSC over Corona Virus Disease.
Things aren’t any better for private schools, that solely depend on school fees from learners to support their operations. And with schools closed parents have been up in arms against private school administrators whom they accuse of exploitation. This is after some schools directed the parents to pay school fees in full.
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On Friday CS Magoha waded into the row between private schools and parents advising the latter to pay fees so as to support operations at the schools.
“It was your choice to take your children to the private schools let the parents negotiate with the teachers on the charges; otherwise the private school sector will collapse…If private schools collapse all those children will come to public schools, therefore parents talk to the schools and work around how you will keep the schools open and supporting the economy.” he observed.
The government has since been urged to classify teachers and other education workers as vulnerable so as to receive stipend as other vulnerable groups do; through the cash transfer programme. Education stakeholders who met Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Matiang’i this week also urged the government to offer soft loans to education institutions during the current covid-19 pandemic period.
With schools’ reopening not expected any time soon, teachers on BOM terms and their counterparts in private schools should brace for more tough times ahead; unless the government chips in.
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