A teachers’ union has given the government two weeks to pay examiners or they will storm the offices of the Examinations Council.
According to the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), the 50,000 teachers who marked the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam last year have yet to be paid.
Kuppet national chairman Omboko Milemba said the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) had no choice but pay the examiners before the two weeks lapse.
“We have given the examinations council two weeks to settle the bills or face the teachers’ wrath. If the bills are not settled by the end of March, Kuppet will mobilise the examiners to occupy the Knec head office,” Milemba said in a statement.
In January, examiners marking CRE Paper One at St Francis Mang’u Girls High School downed their tools, citing poor working conditions and low remuneration.
The teachers claimed to have received Sh55 per script instead of Sh78.
But Milemba said despite immense sacrifice, the teachers have not gotten deserving dues.
The Kuppet boss accused the government of taking teachers for granted.
“Despite the huge sacrifices the examiners made to serve their country in this critical assignment, they not been paid. The assignment came after a heavily-packed school year in which teachers hardly took a break,” he said.
Milemba, who is also the MP for Emuhaya, noted that the teachers endured poor conditions, long hours working hours, poor accommodation in students’ dormitories, yet their grievances have not been addressed.
“These conditions have not been addressed for so long that examination marking has become a suffering ritual for some of the country’s best teachers. The examiners are often forced to employ different methods of protest before their grievances are addressed,” he stated.
Milemba said labour laws demand that workers who render their services should be paid commensurate with the work done and on time.
He accused Knec of failing to honour its contract with the examiners after they accomplished their duty.
“The Knec dues are part of a ballooning ‘pending bills’ the government owes teachers for work done in ‘acting positions’ at all levels of responsibility. In fact, teachers have provided the largest service to the government which remains unqualified pending bills,” Milemba said.