Over 17,800 intern teachers in junior secondary schools in Kenya have still not been paid three months after they were deployed by the government.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has stated that only half of these teachers have been paid, as their arrival at their workstations was delayed, causing problems with salary processing.
The government had recruited 35,550 new hires earlier this year to address the teacher shortage and ensure a smooth transition for the new cohort of the Competency-Based Curriculum.
However, delays in processing salaries have been caused by teachers reporting to their stations later than expected, late submission of necessary documents, and issues with required procedures.
“The procedure is the recruits are given 30 days to report to their various stations, which leads to some commencing work later than others,” said Nancy Macharia.
Nancy Macharia, the TSC chief executive, has confirmed that the commission has processed over 50% of the salaries for the newly employed teachers and plans to resolve the issue for those who have not yet been paid this month.
However, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Secretary General Akello Misori criticized the government for its delay in paying the teachers’ salaries.
“Kuppet demands that JSS teachers be paid all their salary arrears before the beginning of the new school term next week,” said Mr Misori.
Missouri claimed that many teachers are struggling with debt and are being forced to purchase their own teaching materials, such as textbooks, pens, writing pads, and chalk.
Additionally, the teachers have yet to benefit from the group medical scheme, which they should have been entitled to as a right of employment from the day they reported to their workstations.
Misori also argued that JSS teachers work under primary school headteachers, which is causing issues with reporting channels and could lead to the inevitable collapse of the new CBC curriculum due to low infrastructural capacity in primary schools.
The Kuppet called on the government to reflect and reconsider the place of JSS teachers to prevent further issues.
“The same JSS teachers are forced to purchase their own teaching materials, including textbooks, pens, writing pads and chalks.
Misori shared tragic incidents where a JSS teacher in Kakamega County took his own life out of frustration, and another from Kisii County is recovering from severe injuries inflicted by a group of boda boda operators to whom he owed four months of transportation debts.