Education plays a major role in acceleratin’g socio- economic growth of a nation.In Kenya, private schools have immensely complemented the public schools in ensuring that this is achieved.
Having received lamentations from some private school teachers accross the country,in this article,I highlight some of the challenges that such teachers undergo during the lockdown and when in school.
From my inbox:
Hello Brian,teachers from private are going through tough moments especially during this time.1.since closure of schools my life has been pathetic,march l was given half salary.have a family of two my wife and son.my son suffer from C.P(cerebral pulse) of which from my job by the way lam the htr in that school.from my salary l always put aside 10k for medication of my son on which my wife takes him to different pediatric in different hospital for medication. As from Monday to Friday. So since the pandemic my son lacks the medication,we lack meals by which we only have one meal per day but to son he takes porrage all the time of which it affects him like last week he had a pot belly by which it was due to lack of protein. House rent haven’t paid since April to date and whenever l call the director to support me he says that he has no money.thus why was saying please the government as its supporting those vulnerable, it should also see us as private school teacher.life is so tough and rough on my side.
1.Poor and unreliable salaries.
With exemption of international schools ,some teachers who work in Kenyan private schools,whether primary or secondary part with a meager pay come end month.
A teacher’s salary can be as low as 7,000 per month.
Some find it hard even to cater for their families especially during the lockdown when they don’t any salary at all.
The worst of all is that they are not sure of getting this small amount of pay due to greed of the administrators or directors.
Many teachers have therefore resorted to taking loans and topping up year in year out in an attempt to fend for their families .
Some schools took advantage of the current situation in the country to further worsen the already worse situation.
Do you know that as early as when the first case of covid-19 was announced in Kenya,Some private schools had begun giving notice of compulsory unpaid leave,in anticipation for the lockdown?
A school in Nairobi ,whose name I won’t mention for security reasons, paid its workers a quarter of the salary in pretext that the rest will be paid when “Corona virus ends”
Ironically, their counterparts in public schools have continued receiving their pay from the comfort of their homes.
Teachers in private schools are always in fear of losing their jobs should any “mistake” occur.
The administration is on their neck for better academic results. When a “mistake” does occur that students do not perform accordin’g to administrators’ expectations, a poor teacher is threatened to be sacked.
3.Lack of teachers’ Union and representations.
The acronyms KNUT and KUPPET are so common to every Kenyan’s ears.
These are very active unions of public school teachers that for a very long time have fought against any form of prejudice,humiliation or mistreatment of any teacher by the employer.
Sadly,the counterparts in the private sector have no voice hence the mistreatment.
Their grievances are not effectively presented to the education ministry.
Many employers are aware of this and therefore goes ahead to perpetrate evil deeds to innocent teachers,after all the teacher has no where to seek redress.
Every private school is looking for competitive edge to attract top level students.
A lot of pressure is therefore exerted on their teachers to achieve extremely high targets within a given period,hence high workload compared to their counterparts in public schools.
In several if not all private schools, parents are extremely committed to having a say in their child’s education.
The administration listens so much to the parent more than it does to teachers,after all they (parents) are the source of income.
Teachers therefore have no option but to work extremely hard to ensure that the children perform.
https://kenyanbell.com received a lot of lamentations from some of the teachers who sought anonymity.
Here are other comments that confirms the situations;
“The government should cater for private school teachers like me here have a family and my child is physically challenged of which l always take him to hospital at a cost from Monday to Friday in different hospitals. So beg the government to consider us.l am really suffering.”
” Please we teachers in Private schools are suffering.please we are suffering.”
The question that you would ask yourself is that is bein’g a teacher in a private school a mistake ?
I am of the opinion that the government has an obligation to take care of its citizens whether in private sector or otherwise.
It is not wise at all to have a trained and competent teacher languish in poverty when something can be done to salvage them.