SALARIES: BETRAYAL, EMPTY PROMISES AS BOM TEACHERS GET A RAW DEAL FROM SCHOOLS
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CS Magoha’s announcement that the government will soon release free education funds to help schools meet costs such as paying BOM staff salaries rekindled the hope of many BOM teachers who had gone without pay for over five months now.
However, the joy seems to have vanished as soon as it had come given the indifference that some BOM teachers have been treated to this week.
As promised by Professor Magoha, the funds did hit the school accounts. If my memory serves me right, part of that cash was meant to pay subordinate staff such as security personnel and teachers employed by school boards of management.
“The government has set aside sufficient funds to pay Board of Management teachers, non-teaching staff including security personnel to ensure proper maintenance and safety in schools,” said Magoha in a press briefing.
The funds were deposited in school operations accounts between August 3 and 5, 2020. A spot check by our media team shows that no disbursement was made for the tuition account now that learners are not in school.
“All the requisite funds have been released to schools. Therefore, it is expected that the support staff will continue receiving their wages,” confirmed Magoha last week.
The ministry used data in its National Education Management Information System, NEMIS to determine what each school will get.
Every secondary school learner got Sh 3, 725 in the latest disbursement by the education ministry. Ina year, every learner in all public schools receives sh 22, 244 through the free day secondary education. Part of this money, Sh9, 400 is deposited into the school’s operations account which encompasses personal emoluments such as BOM staff salaries.
The disbursement is usually done in the ration 50:30:20 for terms 1, 2, and 3 respectively.
BOM TEACHERS, STAFF BETRAYED IN SALARY DEAL
Now that the free education funds hit the schools’ operations accounts, many embarked on paying salaries to BOM teachers and subordinate staff.
What is shocking is the fact that some schools opted to pay part of the July salaries, writing off unpaid balances.
If the government released full funds, why should schools pay part of the salaries and write off the balances?
One of the teachers whose identity we will not reveal for fear of being victimized revealed the rot in schools. According to him, he earns a monthly salary of sh 14, 000 but the school only deposited Sh 7, 000 into his account.
Attempts by the teacher and our media team to reach the principal to address the matter have been futile.
“My monthly salary is sh 14, 000 but I have only received sh 7, 000. Attempts to reach the principal have been futile with his phone going unanswered or off,” confessed one of the affected teachers.
HALF SALARIES, UNPAID LEAVE
In another school, BOM teachers have been informed that they will receive half salaries for August after which they will proceed on unpaid leaves till schools reopen.
“Subject to a BOM meeting held on August 4, 2020, it was decided that you will be paid half salary in August 2020. From September 1, 2020, you will proceed on unpaid leave until such a time when the ministry gives further instructions on reopening(dates) of schools,” read part of the school’s memo.
This was expected given the way CS Magoha refused to commit to paying BOM teachers’ salaries. Last week he distanced himself from the matter, saying that it was upon schools to pay their BOM staff since they are not employed by the ministry.
It is therefore not clear whether schools will or should pay all salary arrears owed to BOM staff. To make matters worse, no ministry official is willing to commit to paying the salaries. So where does this leave BOM staff and teachers?
The government should urgently make public the guidelines on utilisation of the released funds, this will help end the speculation and save school heads from unnecessary blame as far as salaries for BOM teachers is concerned.