A junior secondary school (JSS) teacher did not report to work for the second day today, which prompted his headteacher to call to know his whereabouts.
The teacher from Vihiga who is also an intern told his headteacher he lacked fare and basic needs to support him during this second term in the school.
He said he failed to get any money from sources which he had exhausted through borrowing during the first school term.
His headteacher had arranged a staff meeting for term two deliberations. The JSS teacher was the only one missing. Most of his colleagues in the primary school section had reported on Monday.
His sorry state made the headteacher who is also acting JSS Principal to seek help from other teachers to support the struggling teacher.
The teachers together with their headteacher raised sh. 2,600 which they sent to the teacher. By the time of writing this article the teacher was on his way to school.
The teacher is among the over 17,800 JSS teachers who missed April salaries. Some of the teachers have not received salaries since February when they reported for duty.
These 17,800 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.
On Monday, TSC said that it was working to ensure that the remaining batch of teachers received their dues in May.
“We apologize for any delays that may have been occasioned by late reporting of teachers to their stations, or delayed submission of requisite documents. All efforts are being made to effect all the salaries in May,” read a statement from the commission.
The delayed payments according to TSC was attributed to teachers arriving at their work stations later than expected, causing issues with salary processing.
“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.
Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu also directed that the teachers to be paid their salaries expeditiously.
Speaking when he appeared before the National Assembly plenary for grilling by MPs, the CS regretted that more than 50 per cent of the teachers recruited by the TSC were yet to be paid.
“I want to apologize to our teachers for the delay in payment. There are those that we have been unable to pay. As of today when I discussed with the CEO of the Teachers Service Commission, it was confirmed that almost fifty percent of the newly employed teachers have been paid and the other fifty percent, I’m getting information from the feed so we can pay them. I assure you that funds are available and we will be able pay expeditiously,” said Machogu.
The CS was responding to a query by Nominated MP Sabina Chege on the delayed payment of salaries.
He said the delayed salaries was occasioned by different reporting times of the teachers to the schools they were posted.
The junior secondary school teachers reported to their workstations in February and others in March.
Machaogu explained that the teachers were required to report to their workstations within 30 days and an assessment carried out by the principals- which is later disseminated to the ministry.
“After posting them we rely on information from the principals on the specific days that they report so we are able to prepare payment. Some began their work later than others which might have caused the delays in processing of salaries. I however want to assure them that they will be paid on time,” he said.
In response to Isiolo MP Bonaya Golo, Machogu said plans were underway to equip the learning and teaching facilities through the construction of more classrooms and laboratories in order to accommodate the increased enrollment.
“We have challenges such as a shortage of laboratories and classrooms. We are in consultations with the world bank -our development partner- and have agreed that the funding we are likely to get will go towards navigating the infrastructural problem,” he said.
Golo sought to know why Northern counties were understaffed and under-facilitated in the implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum.