By Emma Muli
No Kenyan denies the fact that teachers in public schools deserve better pay and treatment. Even those who have voiced contrary opinions are saying they should wait until the economy improves.
The question is when will the economy improve. May be next month. May be next year, May be 10 years from now.
I guess teachers who have been in one of the longest strikes ever in Kenya, would not mind that if we were all swimming in the same boat. But they are seeing others rising fast. Among these are parliamentarians and the so-called parastatal workers.
It has now become regular thing to expect that when the Government wants to increase salaries of particular category of workers, they create a parastatal for them. Never mind that we have the Sarah Serem Salary and renumeration commission.
As the teachers have pointed out, employees of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) are paid many times more than they are.
Certificates and Salaries
A clerk with a D Grade in the school certificate examination is paid Shs 35,000/- per month with other luxurious benefits. A secondary school teacher with an excellent grade in Form Four (and you must have a minimum of B+ if you are going to be admitted at the a public university as a regular student) starts at Shs 31,000/-. Is there any justification? Of course not. Only the Commission of Serah Serem can find a justification for that and comes out to openly announce it without shame.
Again, what justification is there for rubbishing education certificates and successes into which parents have sunk thousands of shillings and the certificate holders have spent sleepless nights to achieve?
Serah Serem Commission
No one knows except the UhuRuto Government and the Serah Serem Commission.
Teachers are not the only ones complaining. Indeed the entire civil service needs salary improvements—and very urgently. Those who invented certificate system knew it was the only justifiable way of selection and determining remuneration.
To abandon the system is to consign ourselves to the whims of human mind and emotion such as we are seeing with Serah Serem’s Commission.
Let sense return to the country. Let us use sensible ways of determining proper compensation for work.