Consider all teachers for Covid-19 relief

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Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The delay of letters has dealt the teachers a serious blow.

It is laudable that the Ministry of Education is finalising the process of releasing the free primary and free day secondary education funds to public schools.

These monies will go a long way in financially cushioning the teachers who are employed by schools’ boards of management (BoMs), and who have gone for months without pay due to the Covid-19 pandemic that led to the closure of schools.

Also, as confirmed by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, private school teachers will soon benefit from the Sh7 billion government fund set up to cushion their schools.

This means the private school teachers, like their BoM colleagues, will have money to pay their bills. However, there is a group of teachers who have been neglected; their plight hasn’t been given attention.

These are the teachers recently employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) in February, but are yet to receive their deployment letters as they cannot be placed on the payroll.

TSC has two categories of employment: One, through mass recruitment, and, two, replacements. The former happens after the annual budgetary allocations and the latter every term (that is, three times per year) to replace teachers who have exited service through natural attrition.

Replacement doesn’t require budgetary allocation. The commission needs to speed up release of deployment letters so that the teachers begin receiving their salaries.

Notably, the aforesaid teachers were working as either BoM or private school teachers, but were, as required, struck off the respective payrolls immediately their employers learnt that they had passed TSC replacement tests.

The delay of letters has dealt the teachers a serious blow. Some are sinking into depression due to piling bills and other economic pressures, six months after employment.

They also want to take part in the upcoming community-based learning.

Wornicks Gisemba, Nairobi

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The Ministry of Education directive to principals to collect data on teachers employed by their schools’ boards of management for verification before the money promised by the government for their Covid-19 pandemic relief could be disbursed is sagacious.

The money will not only rescue the teachers from their current pathetic lifestyle, but will also motivate and attract more students to join the profession. However, private teachers should also be considered.

Also, the decision by the ministry to give loans to private schools will benefit teachers. Lastly, let the ministry also involve the private school teachers in the community-based learning that is being rolled out.

Aross Samuel Onyango, Nairobi

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