Hardship allowance to contain shortage

Education stakeholders in Meru County have appealed to the Ministry of Education and the

Teachers Service Commission to consider paying hardship allowance to officers working in remote areas.

Led by Meru Governor, Kiraitu Murungi, the leaders said the area was hard-hit by understaffing in public primary and secondary schools due to perennial exodus of teachers in search of greener pastures.

Kiraitu said many teachers working in Isiolo, Laikipia and Tharaka Nithi counties reside in Meru County and spend a lot of time travelling to their work stations where they enjoyed hardship allowance.

The Governor said some parts of Meru County had similar weather conditions as Laikipia, Isiolo and Tharaka Nithi but had not been categorized as hardship areas.

He vowed to ensure teachers working in remote areas of the County start earning hardship allowance as soon as possible to retain and attract more teachers to address understaffing.

While concurring with the Governor, Meru Branch Kenya National Union of Teachers Leader, Caxton Miungi appealed to authorities to manage teachers as a human resource and consider engaging individual truant teachers before serving them with interdiction or suspension letters.

Miungi said many teachers had resorted to excessive consumption of alcohol among other forms of substance abuse due to unique reasons, saying there was need to provide them with guidance and counselling sessions at work stations.

Interdiction and suspension may not be the best option since some of these truant teachers had gone overboard and were addicted to whatever they consume and would be in need of being placed into a rehabilitation facility. Miungi said.

He admitted that substance addiction had played a role in absenteeism and desertion of duty by teachers in primary and secondary schools.

He added that such situations were bound to adversely affect the overall academic performance of the County in national examinations.

Miungi further commended the County government leadership for initiating the free school milk programme for all Early Child Development (ECD) learners in all public primary schools, saying the gesture would improve on enrolment and retention to completion.

All ECD learners will be provided with milk in their respective schools for two days in a week in all the 45 wards in the County.

Source: Kenya News Agency