Tutors working in Taita Taveta and Wundanyi Sub-counties are set to start receiving hardship allowances amongst other benefits following a stakeholder’s meeting that took place between Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) and other education stakeholders like Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association among others.
Speaking during the meeting in Mwatate, TSC vice chair Leila Ali said TSC agreed with the stakeholders to fast track the process of allocating the allowances and solving the challenges facing the tutors.
‘The process is now at an advanced stage and we are hoping that it will soon be finalised,’ she said.
She added that the commission will also look into the issue of teachers’ shortage in the area and the promotion of deserving teachers.
She further asked all stakeholders to play their part in making learning a success.
KUPPET Taita Taveta executive secretary Shedrack Mutungi said that although the area had been neglected and side-lined, the wrong has now been corrected.
‘We have been gunning for this since 2011 and we are over the moon and happy the long standing wrong has been corrected,’ Mutungi said as he hailed the move by TSC.
He added that in the past, only teachers in Voi Sub County and other parts of Mwatate were entitled to hardship allowances of 30% of their basic salaries.
Hardship allowances include acute hardship, deplorable road network, harsh climatic conditions, water scarcity and rampant human wildlife conflict.
‘We are now waiting for the TSC gazette notice to ensure the process is completed soon,’ said Mutungi, who promised to follow up on the issue to fast track it.
He revealed that the disparity in allowances had caused a rift between the teaching fraternities and negatively affected the delivery of education in the area.
‘We have further called for a quarter of the teaching staff to be considered for promotion. We want priority to be given to local teachers,’ he said.
Taita Taveta Senator Jones Mwaruma said the key engagement forum helped in ironing out issues affecting the education sector in the hardship prone Taita Taveta Count
The senator recalled that the county had partially suffered in terms of hardship allowances, delocalization considerations, TSC modalities on absorption and promotion amongst other teething issue.
In 2019, more than 1,000 teachers in the area petitioned the National Assembly demanding that TSC to gift them hardship allowances