Kenya has over 250,000 teachers on the payroll of the Teachers Service Commission and most of them are barely surviving.
Most teachers are broke with most of them deep in debts from uncountable loans they often take.
“I can tell you for free that most teachers are suffering in Kenya. One cannot survive minus taking loans. It’s always top up, after top up.”
“Almost every teacher has a loan… even those who joined the service just the other day. They take loans even without a plan… and end up in a chain of debt that never ends,” said one of the teacher.
On his part, teacher Omari who is a primary school teacher – and has been teaching for 20 years said he takes home Ksh8,000 after loan deductions.
This he says is not enough to cater for his needs.
Omari says that most teachers lack financial literacy – with many making investments that have ended up hurting them on the long run.
“Some of my friends have take loans to build giant houses in the village. It’s a serious mistake many take – and end up suffering for years repaying loans that are not bringing in any money,” said Omari.
The salary scale for Primary school teachers just joining the service in Grade B5 which is equivalent to Job Group ‘H’ earn Ksh24,250 rising to a maximum of Shs27,195. Senior teachers and those who have been in service for a longer periods earn more.
It is on the strength on this amount that many often take take loans running into millions – and without a proper plan.
“I took Ksh1.2 million in 2013 and build a house in the village. The money was not enough to complete the house. I paid the loan for two years before running back to the bank for a top up,” says Mr Yatani .
“I have been taking top up ever since… and the house is yet to be completed. It’s a tough life for most teachers I tell you,” adds Yatani
Those teaching in Private schools – and who are yet to be employed by TSC say they don’t see why they should even join TSC.
“I teach at a private school in Nairobi where I am paid Ksh35,000. Why should I run to TSC where I will be paid Ksh20,000?” wonders Joyce
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