A teachers union is demanding that the government should provide special allowances in form of per diems to this year’s national examinations invigilators operating in the remotest parts of the country.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) wants the government to consider teachers invigilating exams especially in Frontier Counties to be paid the special allowance.
In a statement, the union’s Organizing Secretary Paul Maingi noted that the exams should also be conducted under tight security and in compliance with COVID-19 containment measures as instituted by the Ministry of Health.
“Supervisors and invigilators from expansive and marginalized counties are forced to hire rooms near the collection centers due to the long distances between their residences and the collection centres (some time over 100km). We demand that such teacher be paid per diem allowances as is the practice in other government departments,” said Maingi.
According to pay details released by the Kenya National Examinations Council, KNEC, Primary school heads who will act as center managers for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams KCPE, will pocket a daily subsistence allowance of Sh500; for a total of 4 days (including rehearsal day).
The KCPE exams are slated for Monday, March 22, 2021, through Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
Maingi accused the examinations council of alleged discrimination in the issuance of exam allowances citing a case where a number of junior officers who will be equally working during the period will not earn an extra penny.
“The Council has failed to factor payment for Deputy Head Teachers and Principals despite the fact that they will be present during the examination period as assistant Centre Managers.” He said.
On their part, Secondary school Principals are expected to also earn a daily allowance of Sh500 for 18 days.
The highest-paid supervisor will walk away with a sum total of Sh12,510 while the highest-paid invigilator will pocket Sh9,860.
Maingi, who has recently been vocal on matters touching on the welfare of teachers further disclosed that the union will continue lobbying parliament to consider increasing education kitty, so as to avail funds for teachers’ promotion saying that the current annual allocation was too little to cater for thousands of teachers who have stagnated in one job group for long.
The trade unionist also took issue with the capacities of vehicles set to be used to transport exams, arguing that they are very small and warned that that with COVID-19 pandemic, this will lead to overcrowding and whose resultant outcome will be the spread of deadly contagion.
“Transportation of exam materials is normally done in small land-rover vehicles that are always overcrowded. This is extremely dangerous especially during this third and devastating wave of covid-19 infections. We expect serious adherence to covid-19 protocols during the transportation of examination materials” added Maingi.
According to Maingi, teachers handling science subjects who will be required to prepare and administer practicals during the KCSE examinations will not be paid, adding that, it is a form of discrimination.
“While the school principals are paid by KNEC as a center manager, the deputy principal who is also required to act as the assistant center manager is not paid. This is discrimination of the highest order. Moreover, science teachers who toil for days to prepare for practical exams are not paid a single cent not forgetting teachers of agriculture and home science. These teachers must be properly compensated for their services” Maingi lamented
The government has mobilized 180,000 teachers as well as police helicopters for this year’s national examinations.
A total of 286,000 professionals have been contracted by the Council to administer the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams.