Teachers who marked the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams in April are furious over delayed pay.
Reports reaching Kahawa Tungu indicate that for the past couple of days, the teachers have been holding protests and calling on the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) to pay them but so far nothing has been done.
The teachers claim KNEC is mum on the matter despite the fact that the KCSE, KCPE results were released immediately after marking was concluded.
“There is an outcry among teachers. We are also parents and have other responsibilities. Knec treats teachers with contempt and that’s why they have kept us in the dark,” a close source said.
Further reports indicate that a Knec official had intimated that the agency was “in the process” of preparing the teachers’ payment although no specific time frame was given.
Also, the efforts by the examiners to reach the outgoing acting CEO Mercy Karogo were futile as the new CEO David Njeng’ere has already taken over.
Apparently, the Secondary school teachers who spoke to a local publication said they were given an advance payment at a flat rate of Sh10,000 upon completing marking which was unusual as they used to receive Sh20,000 upfront.
“We are running out of patience. Teachers made a sacrifice and the government needs to reciprocate. The teachers’ unions have also abandoned us,” a teacher in Bungoma County said.
During marking, there were claims of staged protests hence a disruption was reported. For instance, examiners at two centers; Moi Girls’ Secondary, Nairobi, and State House Girls staged a sit-in demanding an increase in their allowances.
The teachers were demanding an increase in the transport reimbursement indicating that they had spent more money to travel to Nairobi County, which was under lockdown at the time.
Normally, examiners are paid according to the number of scripts they mark. The rates differ from subject to subject and there is also a set minimum and a maximum number of scripts that a teacher can mark.
For example, English Paper III pays the highest among written exams, at Sh77 per script, while Biology Paper II examiners earn Sh50 per script, the lowest. English Paper III examiners have a ceiling of 650 scripts to mark and should not mark less than 300.
“The marking rates per script should be raised by at least 50 percent, given the inflation situation. A paper, like Chemistry Paper 1 earns an examiner only Sh51, maths Sh57 for both papers, and English Paper 1 Sh58,” Kuppet secretary-general Akelo Misori said at the time.
Before the marking started, Misori had called for higher allowances for teachers marking biology, chemistry, physics, agriculture, building and construction, music and home sciences, saying that they risked their lives during practicals.
Notably, in June, the council had paid officials involved in the administration of the examinations including centre managers, supervisors, invigilators, drivers and the security personnel who would be stationed at the centres.
However, teachers and examiners are yet to be paid, four months on.