Teachers sleep inside school to demand 3-month salary arrears

Marereni secondary school BoM teachers at the school compound where they have spent the night demanding their three months’ pay. [Marion Kithi, Standard]

All 17 teachers employed by the Board of Management (BoM) of Marereni Secondary School in Kilifi County are sleeping at the school to protest delays in the payment of their salary.

One of the teachers, Mwasambu Pole, said they have slept at the school since Friday to demand their three-month salary arrears. He said non-teaching staff were also affected by the delays.

The teachers decided to camp at the school after Principal Mr Amin Mohamed Karanja told them that the institution had no money to pay them.

Speaking to the Media on Saturday morning, the teachers said they were unable to pay house rent, medical bills, and other necessities for their families because of the salary delays.

''The school principal issued a notice indicating that we will be paid in January. We, as BoM teachers, have been forced to teach with no pay for several months,” Pole lamented.

He said they spent the night in the school compound after they got a written communication from the school principal indicating that they would receive their payment next year.

“We ask the government to intervene in the matter immediately because it appears the parents are unable to pay us due to the prevailing economic hardship in the country,” he said.

Ms Annet Munga, another teacher, said she has resorted to play a cat-and-mouse game with her landlord because of rent arrears. “I’m on the verge of being thrown out of the house. We become beggars,” said

"We came on Friday when the school was closing and hoped we would be paid, only to be slapped with a memo telling us to wait until next year.

“How we will survive during this long holiday without pay?” said Munga, adding that some of their colleagues have taken up menial jobs to survive.

From operating boda bodas to burning charcoal, Ms Munga said most BoM teachers in Kilifi have ventured into alternative generating revenues.

Meanwhile, efforts to talk to the school principal were unsuccessful after journalists were denied entry into the school compound.

We learnt that the school principal also spent the night in his office as the teachers demanded he pay them before he left.