Since the government imposed a dusk to dawn curfew, set a lockdown in some selected counties, shuttered the economy and schools closed, many people have been financially paralysed but the worst hit are teachers.
I mean teachers employed by Board of Management (BOM) have been casualities of the global pandemic coronavirus.
Since the closure of schools both universities, middle level colleges, secondary and primary schools, BOM teachers are the most affected financially.
A spot check by this writer revealed that Secondary and primary school teachers employed by the board are undergoing a torturous moment.
“Majority of us are passing through hell, teaching on board terms helped us meet family obligations however little we were earning, we are now suffering, schools have been closed and we are staying at home, we have no other financial sources,” said a secondary teacher in Bungoma County on BOM.
Contracted teachers are paid stipends after offering their services, they are not like their colleagues employed by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) who earn monthly salaries.
Majority Principals and head teachers in both public and private schools have been forced to terminate the contracts with their employees to avoid court cases until things normalizes.
“We got the letters written to us by our bosses to terminate our services, there is no anything we can do, we have to live by our means,” said Seline Nekesa a secondary school teacher in Bumula.
She added, “Am a single mother of two, i depended on the BOM salary for survival but am now stuck, i have to overburden my retired parents for upkeep, it is a sad affair,”.
Majority of them have to look for other ways of survival, male teachers have turned into boda boda operators, women are selling groceries while some are washing clothes in their neighbourhoods to fend for themselves and their families.
A parent in Webuye town asked college owners, public and private school principals and head teachers to sell maize and beans in their possession paid as fees for this year and pay BOM teachers something small.
“Maize and beans will rot if not sold, let it be sold and BOM teachers paid something small as they wait for the reopening of schools, it is just a stage these teachers are going through, soon they will be absorbed by TSC, i pray that this pandemic ends soonest,” she said.
BOM teachers in Kimilili sub county are asking the national government to set up the kitty that will sustain them.
“We are suffering, since March up to now, we haven’t been paid by our school principals yet we provided good services for them, let the national government intervene and save us,” said Wekesa Victor.
The government is setting up stractures to see that schools reopen by September 2020 but with the rise in Corona infection cases may push the opening date to early 2021.
Education CS George Magoha stated that the government is working hard and putting structures in place to have learners back in class but the issue is still at the discussion stage.