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Knut demands review of hardship allowance

Education

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) wants the national government to increase allowance for teachers in hardship areas.

The union officials said some teachers work under difficult conditions in regions prone to banditry and constantly fear for their safety.

Knut national vice chairperson Joseph Malel Langa’t said there is a need to improve the social and economic status of staff to motivate them as they render service in hardship areas.

He cited the recent killing of teachers by bandits in Baringo and Samburu counties.

Langa’t urged the government to deploy more National Police Reservists (NPRs) in schools located in bandit-prone areas.

He emphasised the importance of declaring these areas as disturbed and urged the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to deploy adequate teachers for the sake of the education of students.

The union officials also raised concern over inadequate infrastructure in many schools, including the lack of staff quarters, staff rooms, electricity, and water, forcing teachers and students to rely on makeshift facilities in trading centres.

The union rejected the TSC Amendment Bill 2024, saying its punitive and does not cater for teachers' interests.

Knut officials said newly employed teachers should be included in good schemes for permanent and pensionable staff to boost their welfare.

Knut Secretary General in West Pokot Martin Sembelo said the marginalised region suffers from an acute shortage of teachers.

Sembelo called for increased security measures in schools, especially in Masol and Tikiti, where extreme temperatures affect teachers' work.

He criticized the government's decision to halt the Edu Afya medical cover for learners, saying this will negatively impact vulnerable students from impoverished families, many of whom have dropped out of school due to economic hardships.

Sammy Borr, Knut National Executive Council member representing Rift Valley, criticized the parliamentary Education Committee for summoning union officials for teacher data, arguing that TSC should handle such information.

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