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EDUCATION: Voiceless BOM teachers on the receiving end.

Cs. Education Prof. George Magoha

Since schools closed in March 2020 due to COVID-19, majority of teachers employed on BOM terms have not gotten it easy. Some have had to persist without salary all this time. Worse enough some schools like Kabianga high school terminated their contracts. This act is inhuman and against the labour laws. Unfortunately nothing can substantial can happen to rescue such barbarian acts from the school management because they employed the teachers without following due process.
Majority of schools in Kenya cannot manage to run in terms of heavy workload thus opting to employ teachers on BOM terms. The teachers are young, energetic and qualified. No teacher can secure employment now without the TSC number. That means they all merit to perform duties as their TSC employed counterparts. They survive on peanuts even some earning as low as sh. 7,000 per month. How can one meet daily expenses with such amount?

KUPPET Chairman Omboko Milemba

There’s no body in this country mandated to care of the teachers’ welfare in that category. Now that KUPPET only defends TSC teachers not adequately though, BOM teachers have remained at the mercy of their employers. But how long will this unfortunate scenario go on?
Almost all high school principals do not issue employment letters when employing them on BOM. It’s even more surprising because some would employ and issue letters without stating the terms of employment. When schools are out of session, some of them go on upto two or three months without being given their dues. Just like the situation today as we are dealing with Covid-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Education should come up with guidelines that will see the teachers guaranteed their pay and job security especially such like harsh times due to COVID -19 and normal holidays. If all teachers are paid through bank accounts, it will easier to track schools that fail to adhere to this basic labour right.
It’s unfortunate that the ministry of education has given them a blind eye. The conditions they are going through are not new at all. There’s no effort or even plan to mitigate the situation. At this point in time teaching profession becomes more boring and less attractive to the populace.
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The schools and colleges closed on March, 16th 2020 as directed by the president himself due to the spread of covid-19. The head of state directed that the institutions be closed for a period of 30 days. That means they should reopen on April 20, 2020. This was extended twice upto June 4th 2020. But chances are very minimal regarding opening on the said date. Now that the curfew will last upto 6th June 2020, there’s no way the institutions will open up.
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The unpredictable covid-19 duration leads to shivers among the BOM teachers. If the situation prolongs, the suffering is more severe and devastating. The President should be reminded of this group of individuals so that he can include them on the vulnerable category. This ought to be short term solution but on the long run proper legislation should be put in place to safeguard the rights of the BOM teachers who have neglected for long in this country.
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