PRIVATE SCHOOL TEACHERS APPEAL FOR STIMULUS PACKAGE, CITING LACK OF BASIC NEEDS DESPITE STUNNING PERFORMANCE IN NATIONAL EXAMS; LATEST EDUCATION NEWS
By the time schools gradually re-open in September 2020, private school teachers and their BOM counterparts will have been baptized through the fire, gone to hell by foot, and tested the wrath of the harsh economic realities catapulted by the Covid-19 pandemic. What plan does the government have for them?
Teachers employed by private schools in Kenya have tested the wrath of hunger and lack of basic needs since their salary accounts have been” yawning” for almost three months now.
What is even worse is the lack of a stimulus package for these tutors whose families depend on these salaries.
According to the Kenya National Union of Private Schools Teachers (KNUPST) Secretary-General Dan Khisiani, the majority of teachers in private schools have been left to their own mechanisms ever since President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the closure of all educational institutions in Mid-March.
These tutors are yet to receive their three-month salaries. The worst part of it all is the lack of a clear plan on how to support them during this Covid-19 period.
RE-OPENING OF SCHOOLS
Even though the President announced a gradual re-opening of schools in September, Mr. Khisiani does not see how this could help salvage this dire situation.
Besides, September is far-fetched. By the time schools reopen, these teachers would have been baptized by fire following the harsh economic realities stimulated by the spread of the pandemic.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS’ TEACHERS REQUEST FOR AN ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE
KNUPST now wants the Government to consider the inclusion of private school teachers in the country’s economic stimulus package.
Khisiani further lamented that the teachers and their counterparts employed in public schools by schools’ management boards, BOM teachers work in very tough, horrendous conditions, produce top students in KCSE and KCPE national exams but no one seems to acknowledge the indispensable roles they play.
He regretted that many private schools have now turned their backs on these teachers when they need them most.
“By the time schools reopen, these teachers shall have gone for six months without salary! This, therefore, means that these teachers shall lack basic needs for all that duration,” said KNUPST Secretary-General.
Statistics indicate that these private schools play a critical role in the Kenyan education sector.
Besides producing top KCSE and KCPE candidates, these schools have plugged the infrastructural and staffing gaps in the sector.
It is in the public domain that most public schools in Kenya are over-populated leading to a teacher: learner ratio of 1:50, a factor that is likely to water down the quality of education these learners receive.
Currently, there are over 10, 400 private primary schools with approximately 2.14 million pupils and at least 1, 627 private secondary schools with over 271, 618 students.
Already, private schools through their association have appealed for government grants to keep their schools afloat.
It seems that their move was not well-calculated. Or was it their reasons that did not appeal to the humane side of those charged with the responsibility of issuing these stimulus packages?
Anyway, they have done their part; it is now Khisiani’s turn but before I wind up, allow me to share my sentiments since if I don’t, I will be doing a disservice to humanity especially to BOM and private school teachers.
MY QUESTION IS QUITE SIMPLE: DOES IT MEAN THAT THESE TRAINED PROFESSIONALS’ ROLES OF IMPARTING KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND VALUES TO OUR CHILDREN CANNOT SURPASS THAT OF MUSICIANS?