Teachers employed on BOM terms in Kenya have long suffered under the mighty principals in high schools. They are mighty in the sense that they decide when to sack, when to pay and when to employ. 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.
Almost all high school principals do not issue employing letters when employing them on BOM. It’s even more surprising because some would employ and issue letters without stating the terms of employing. When schools are on session, some of them go on upto two or three months without being given their dues. This is a group of individuals who also responsibilities like paying rent, taking care of their siblings and even others are married.
Basing on the performance in terms of academic programmes, the BOM teachers are more hardworking and most of them give it all for the sake of learners. The teachers who are employed by the Teachers Service Commission sometimes lack the stamina and morale due to also mishandling of the employer. In such circumstance the schools opt to employ teachers who can properly implement the curriculum to the later. Unfortunately most Heads of institutions are so inhumane not adequately take care of the needs of the teachers. Some will argue the schools are underfunded but that should be specified in the letters of employment and agreed upon at the very first instance.
As we continue with the festive season like right now, BOM teachers are languishing in poverty since most of them were paid last in October. Most of them will be paid again mid- January. This is a very sad state indeed but the question is; who will speak for this seemingly vulnerable group? Is it high time that the BOM teachers speak for themselves? The BOM teachers ought to pursue their case in the ministry of education which has given them a blind eye for too long. The MOE should come up with guidelines that will see the teachers guaranteed their pay and job security.
The worst scenario has developed amongst principals who decide to terminate the contracts of all BOM teachers immediately after closure. This helps them not pay during the holiday season then re-advertise the positions to employ new ones in January. Moving around several schools, I have noticed posters indicating the subjects advertised and conditions for employment. Most of these schools had adequate staff but sacked them after closure. How long will this happen?