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Nursery school teachers demand equal pay

Saturday August 25 2018

A nursery school teacher

A nursery school teacher with her pupils. The teachers are demanding for harmonisation of their salaries across the counties. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

FAITH NYAMAI
By FAITH NYAMAI
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The discrepancy in the pay of Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers with same qualifications in counties can be revealed.

The highest paid teacher earns Sh43,000 while the lowest Sh7,500, with some counties paying diploma teachers a measly Sh8,500 while in others certificate holders earn over Sh35,000.

The teachers are demanding for harmonisation of their salaries across the counties.

A diploma ECDE teacher in Turkana County earns Sh43,000 while a certificate holder Sh37,000.

UNIVERSITY GRADUATES

On the contrary, the teachers with the same qualifications in Baringo County earn Sh7,500 for certificate holders and Sh8,500 for diploma.

Other counties that pay their teachers better salaries are Mandera and Kajiado. In Mandera, certificate holders get Sh28,000, diploma Sh30,000 and untrained teachers Sh20,000 while in Kajiado, certificate holders get Sh24,000, diploma Sh27,000 and university graduates Sh35,000. Counties that pay their ECDE teachers low salaries include Narok, Bomet, Kakamega, Vihiga, Uasin Gishu, Kilifi, Kisumu, Migori, Laikipia, Busia, Kiambu, Siaya, Busia and Kericho where teachers earn less than Sh10,000.

PENSIONABLE TERMS

Makueni, Machakos, Isiolo, Marsabit, Murang’a, Nyeri, Makueni, Meru, Isiolo, Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kisumu, Kwale, Kirinyaga, Mombasa, Transnzoia, Nandi, Kisii and Nyamira pay their teachers between Sh10,000 and Sh20,000.

Taita Taveta, Wajir, Bungoma and Embu pay their teachers slightly above Sh20,000. Nairobi County employed their teachers early this month.Some counties such as Embu have employed their teachers on permanent and pensionable terms while Tharaka Nithi is offering their teachers house and commuter allowances.

National ECDE official Lawrence Otunga said counties have no payment structures and most pay their teachers through M-Pesa.

DEDUCTIONS

“Teachers are not provided with payslips in most counties while statutory deductions are not channelled to the right accounts in different counties,” said Mr Otunga.

He added the teachers have no job groups and demanded that they be grouped according to their education qualification.

"Some counties are paying teachers a flat rate regardless of whether they have a degree, diploma or certificate,” said Mr Otunga. He added the teachers are demanding for the ECDE County Bill to be presented to President Uhuru Kenyatta for assent.

INTEGRATED

The teachers recently held a meeting at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, where Knut secretary-general Wilson Sossion told them they must have a schemes of service. He promised to push for the County Bill to be enacted into law. Mr Sossion further said ECDE learning should be mainstreamed and integrated with the other education system. "We should focus at strengthening ECDE teachers and champion for better pay and improvement of infrastructure in all ECDE schools," he said. The chairman of the Council of Governor’s education committee Paul Chepkwony said the devolved units have already developed a schemes of service, but have no cash to implement it. He said in the scheme, teachers with certificates will start at grade F and exit at L.

Similarly, diploma holders will enter service at grade H and exit at N, while university graduates will start at grade K and exit at R.