Teachers demand pay rise for exam markers

Teachers have demanded that the examinations agency raise marking fees for each script to Sh100, according to new proposals by their union.

Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) currently pays between Sh48 and Sh77 per script.

The teachers also want the venue for marking all KCSE examination papers and KCPE English composition as well as Kiswahili insha be moved to university campuses or other high level government institutions.

In the detailed proposals by the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), the examiners want transport allowances to be doubled for those who commute from far-flung regions.

Marking hours

Kuppet also seeks to change the marking hours from between 4am to 10pm to between 8am to 6pm.

“We are going to present these proposals to Knec and demand for a serious meeting,” said Kuppet Secretary General Akello Misori.

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“We cannot subject our teachers to inhuman conditions and poor wages and yet they are performing a serious duty.”

Even as teachers demand to be paid Sh100 for each marked script, Kuppet insists that payment rates for Kiswahili insha should be pegged at Sh110 and Sh120 for English composition per script.

Those marking English papers are paid at a rate of between Sh57 and Sh77 per script, while those marking Kiswahili papers are paid between Sh57 and Sh69.

The same rate applies for those marking mathematics papers. Teachers charge between Sh50 and Sh52 to mark chemistry papers, same as biology and physics.

Knec has to part with between Sh52 and Sh55 to have history papers marked.  Geography papers are rated at between Sh52 and Sh54 per script.

Markers’ strike

Business studies and agriculture are rated at Sh52. Kuppet, however, says agriculture paper 3, which is marked at school level, is never paid for.

About 30,000 teachers marked KCSE papers while 7,000 marked KCPE.

During marking of the 2019 KCSE examinations, markers based at Machakos Girls High School and Starehe centres threatened to quit the exercise.

They claimed the money paid per script was too little.

At Machakos Girls, the markers had even packed their bags ready to leave in a move that would have thrown the national exercise into jeopardy.

Knec acting Chief Executive Officer Mercy Karogo’s intervention saw the markers paid Sh4 more per script.

On general working conditions, Kuppet wants the entire exercise moved to institutions with better facilities for teachers.

“Congestion and poor meals at the marking centres must be addressed,” Mr Misori said.

“Marking can be done in universities or polytechnics, but not high schools.”

He noted that some examination makers have lost their lives after being subjected to filthy working conditions.

 “They line up to use toilets and bathrooms, some of which are not clean. The meals are pathetic,” said Misori.

In addition to these demands, teachers also want Knec to employ data entry clerks and other staff to handle administrative functions so that they can concentrate on marking.

Kuppet also proposes that examination centre managers be paid Sh2,000 per day from the current Sh500 and coordination fee be paid at a rate of Sh1,000 per day from the present Sh150.

Deputy centre managers pay has been pegged at Sh1,500.

“Currently, the deputies get no pay at all, yet they are required to be in school during the entire examination period,” Misori said.

The union also wants examination supervisors’ payment be revised to Sh25,000 up from Sh10,000 and invigilators to be paid Sh20,000.

Overall, about 240,000 contracted professionals participated in the administration of this year’s examinations.

Presently, primary school head teachers are paid a flat rate of Sh500 for the three days they oversee the administration of KCPE.

Supervisors’ pay

KCPE supervisors earn Sh2,485 while invigilators take home Sh1,615. Security officers are paid 1,050 while drivers earn Sh1,040.

KCSE supervisors in Nairobi and Mombasa are paid Sh695 per day for 18 days, translating to Sh12,510.

Supervisors from other regions earn Sh630 for the same number of days, translating to Sh11,340

Invigilators in Nairobi and Mombasa earn Sh580 per day for 17 days, while invigilators from other regions get Sh460 for a similar number of days.

Secondary school principals take home a flat rate of Sh500 for 18 days, translating to Sh9,000.

Security officers who take part in KCSE’s administration earn a flat rate of Sh420 for 16 days while drivers earn Sh6,480 for the same number of days.

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Kenya National Examination CouncilKnec