- The teachers said efforts to have the matter addressed by TSC have not resulted into satisfactory response.
- “Further, most of the administrators in schools in Kilifi County are in acting capacity thus lowering their morale.”
Teachers in Chonyi Sub-County, Kilifi County have petitioned the National Assembly to intervene and have the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) pay them hardship allowances.
In a petition presented on their behalf by Kilifi South MP Ken Chonga, the teachers prayed that the House, through the Public Petitions Committee, engage TSC to ensure they are paid hardship allowances.
They also asked MPs to engage TSC with a view of having the entire Kilifi County gazetted as a hardship area.
They argued that despite provisions of Article 27 of the Constitution against inequality and discrimination, teachers working in Chonyi area have endured hardship hurdles since independence.
They said teachers have to travel long distances without access to medical services, proper housing, food, and other social amenities which are only available in Kilifi Town, the headquarters of Kilifi County which is 30 kilometres away.
“Further, even the Teachers Service Commission offices are located in Vipingo area where a teacher from Chonyi spends Sh1,000 to access their employer’s office,” the teachers said.
Hardship allowance was introduced as an incentive to teachers and other public officers working in remote areas to compensate for lack of basic amenities such as hospitals, improved infrastructure, harsh climatic conditions and communication access.
“The aforementioned challenges have caused many teachers working in Chonyi area to seek transfers to other areas with better working conditions leading to insufficient number of teachers in the area,” the petition reads in part.
They noted that a countrywide data collection exercise to review hardship areas concluded its work on September 17, 2021 and listed Mbit, Lunga Lunga, Suba, and Chonyi to be gazetted as hardship areas to pave way for enhanced allowances for public servants including teachers.
“Despite the proposal, Chonyi has never been gazetted as a hardship area. In a collective bargaining agreement signed between TSC and teachers’ unions, the commission promised to embark on the promotion of teachers serving on Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and revealed 18 new hardship areas in 2021-2025 CBA,” the petition stated.
Kilifi County is an ASAL area but only two sub-counties of Magarini and Ganze were declared hardship areas while other sub-counties were left out including Chonyi.
“Further, most of the administrators in schools in Kilifi County are in acting capacity thus lowering their morale,” the teachers said.
The teachers said efforts to have the matter addressed by TSC have not resulted into satisfactory response.