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Kenyan principals ponder how to pay teachers hired by boards


President Uhuru and Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KESSHA) Chair John Awiti (right) during the group’s 41st annual conference

Secondary school principals have rejected a directive barring them from charging extra fees to pay teachers employed by school boards.

The school heads said most schools had an acute shortage of teachers and the only way to bridge the gap was for Boards of Management (BoM) to hire teachers.

In an education stakeholders meeting, over 400 principals demanded to know from their employer how teachers hired by boards should be paid. But the Government insisted they should abide by the directive.

The Government issued a guideline on the maximum fees that boarding and day schools should charge annually.

The secondary school heads also complained that sporting activities were fast approaching but the schools had not yet received money from the Government.

Chebuyusi Boys School principal, who doubles up as the Kenya Secondary Heads Association (Kesha) Navakholo chapter chairman Boniface Okoth said it was wrong for the Government to bar schools from asking parents to pay teachers employed by BoM.

 “Many schools are facing serious shortages of teachers and initially parents used to contribute money so that we can pay. The Government directed us not to charge extra fee from parents. We are wondering who is going to pay them,” Mr Okoth said.

“In some instances you will find a school has the principal as the only person employed by TSC (Teachers Service Commission) and the remaining teachers are hired by the board of management because we want students to learn,” he added.

The chairman of Kesha Kakamega Chapter and Principal of St Peters Mumias Boys Geoffrey Owori said schools were cash-strapped.

“Secondary school principals have the duty of ensuring that the syllabus is covered on time to enhance quality education. However, the issues bedevilling schools must urgently be addressed,” he said.

Kakamega TSC Director Raphael Tarus promised to consult with the national office on how the BoM teachers should be paid and relay information to the principals in due course. Mr Owori said principals would defy the order if the concerns they raised are not addressed.

The maximum fees for boarding and day schools was set at Sh53,000 and Sh20,000 respectively.

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