The Senate has asked the 47 county governments to increase the salaries of 42,700 nursery school teachers within 60 days.
In a report to the House, the Education committee says 23 counties have not initiated any process to implement an existing scheme of service for early childhood development education teachers (ECDE).
The committee said only eight counties have fully implemented the scheme of service while 16 have partially done so.
“The 23 counties have not initiated any process to implement the scheme of service. They pay ECDE teachers’ stipend with most of the teachers paid by parents,” said Alice Milgo, who chairs the committee.
Ms Milgo said out of the 42,700 teachers employed by county governments, 13,502 are permanently employed while 28,300 are on contract.
Another 4,000 were remunerated by parent teachers’ associations.
Some counties pay as low as Sh7,000, with the highest paying county paying Sh40,000. Most counties employ ECDE teachers on contract as opposed to permanent and pensionable terms.
The committee compiled the report following a petition by Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua regarding the plight of ECDE teachers and the poor status of ECD classrooms.
The committee said its interaction with stakeholders revealed that most counties pay ECDE teachers below government minimum wage.
“Some ECDE teachers received stipends for work done since 2013. This is despite a draft scheme of service being validated by stakeholders, the National Treasury, the Teachers Service Commission and the National Treasury,” Ms Milgo said.
She said counties had employed teachers on poor terms yet there is an approved scheme of service and remuneration structure for ECDE teachers.
“The committee recommends that all county governments should provide a budget for ECDE and effect salary increment within 60 days of tabling this report,” she said.
The committee has also recommended that the Council of Governance (CoG) review the job description for the ECDE teachers and submit it to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) for review within 100 days.
The committee has further asked the CoG to establish a career progression for the ECDE teachers within 90 days of tabling the report.
“The committee recommends that county governments and their county assemblies should enact legislation to increase the budget for the ECDE to at least 10 percent of county revenue. This will turn around education at the county level,” Ms Milgo said.
The committee also wants Parliament to fast track the passage of the County Governments Grants Bill, 2021 so that county governments ring-fence grants for the ECD.
Courtesy: Business Daily Africa