TSC TEACHERS RAISE OVER 200K TO SUPPORT THEIR BOM AND PRIVATE SCHOOL COUNTERPARTS AS MORE THAN 100 PRIVATE SCHOOLS EXIT THE EDUCATION SECTOR; TEACHERS’ NEWS TODAY
Teachers employed by the Commission have pooled resources to aid their counterparts in private schools and those currently employed by school management boards brace tougher times ahead as covid-19 effects continue biting.
The teachers under the Webuye Teachers Welfare donated food and a minimum of Kshs 500 each towards the noble project.
Their counterparts who have not been absorbed by the Government have not received salaries for over three months now since schools were shut down in March 2020 to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“We understand our colleagues under BOM and private schools have lost their income since Covid-19 interrupted normal operation in learning institutions. We raised Kshs 210, 000 to support them get basic needs,” said Amos Wafula, one of the Welfare’s leaders.
The group comprises of 420 government-employed teachers within the confines of Webuye.
“The 420 of us raised over Kshs 200, 000 which we used to purchase foodstuffs and other basic needs since they (BOM and private school teachers) don’t have the income to support themselves,” explained Mr. Wafula.
The group has promised to continue supporting the teachers until the situation normalizes in the country.
THE PLIGHT OF BOM TEACHERS
The welfare has been running such programs and has been reaching out to the most vulnerable. Currently, they are targeting teachers who are not currently on payroll until schools reopen.
“Such programs have been existing and we have been helping the most vulnerable. We are now targeting our teachers who are not on payroll until when schools reopen,” added Mr. Wafula.
He concluded by calling upon the Government and other humanitarian groups to follow suit and reach out to such vulnerable groups.
“Our welfare’s humanitarian assistance for teachers under BOM and those in private schools is a precedent for government and other corporates to follow up with similar support gestures,” he said.
This comes at a time when private schools are caught between a rock and a hard place after the CS announced extended closure of schools for the next six months.
Over 100 private schools have closed permanently citing lack of funds to keep them going.
Confirming the reports, the Kenya Private Schools Association said that 109 schools have so far closed and are not likely to resume come January 2021.
“We have received reports that 109 schools across the country will not be coming back to business. They have folded up to try something else because having no income for those many months is extremely difficult,” said the association’s chair Peter Ndoro.
This means that approximately 39, 000 learners will have to look for alternative schools while 1, 400 teachers and 1, 100 subordinate staff will be rendered jobless.
Mr. Ndoro described the situation as a ticking bomb as more private schools sink into debt. The association has been getting reports of schools from different parts of the country notifying the parents to start looking for other schools for their children.
“It is happening in almost all parts of the country. I have many cases and it is so sad because it means parents have to start thinking of getting new schools at this time when there is so much uncertainty,” added Mr. Ndoro.
For the past few months, the Kenya Private Schools Association has been pushing for the government to support private schools during the pandemic period until they get back to their feet in January, when schools reopen but their plea has been falling on deaf ears.