Junior secondary school teachers who missed salaries are threatening a go slow when schools reopen for second term next week.
A number of teachers who spoke to Teachers Arena say they will give raw services when they report back for term two.
One JSS intern teacher said he has exhausted all available means that helped him be able to cater for his needs including food.
He said he does not even know where he will get the money to take him back to school next week leave alone eating and paying his rent.
“I work in a hardship area where water, food and other resources are scarce. The school itself is in a very remote area which is very expensive to reach. I dont know how I will get there cause I dont have even a coin for transport,” said Michael, a teacher in Ganze, Kilifi.
According to Teachers Service Commission (TSC) at least 17,800 intern teachers in junior secondary schools have not received their pay, three months after they were deployed.
The Commission reported that only half of these teachers have been paid. The delayed payments it said was attributed to teachers arriving at their work stations later than expected, causing issues with salary processing.
These teachers are part of the 35,550 new hires recruited by TSC earlier this year to address the teacher shortage and ensure a smooth transition for the new cohort of the Competency Based Curriculum.
“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 TCS chief executive Nancy Macharia.
She added, “This sometimes causes delays in processing of their salaries. So far, the commission has processed over 50 per cent of salaries of the newly employed teachers.”
Ms Macharia said that the payment delay may also be due to late submission of required documents by the affected employees.
However, she assured those still waiting for payment to remain patient as the TSC plans to resolve the issue this month.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Secretary General Akello Misori has criticised 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, as well as be promptly paid for their time and expenses in the ongoing trainings for the new curriculum,” said Mr Misori.
He added, “The union calls upon the government to reflect and reconsider the place of JSS to avert inevitable collapse of the new CBC curriculum due to low infrastructural capacity in primary schools and unclear reporting channels whereby JSS teachers work under primary school head-teachers.”
MIsori claimed that many teachers are struggling with debt, some having to auction off valuables to survive, while others have lost their creditworthiness with traders. “Others have seen their relationships suffer or crumble altogether,’’ he said.
Misori shared a tragic incident 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.
“The same JSS teachers are forced to purchase their own teaching materials, including textbooks, pens, writing pads and chalks. This is because the primary schools where they are domiciled have not received any budgetary allocation for such necessities.”
Misori also said 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.