ECDE pupils in class at Kamenjeiwa primary school in Tindiret sub-county. PHOTO|NORTH RIFT MIRRO
Over 800 Early Childhood Development Education teachers from Nandi County have decried the current terms under which they were contracted by the County Government.
Led by Mr. Kennedy Koech , the teachers said their remuneration is not commensurate with their job description and academic qualifications adding that the county government is putting emphasis on structures without improving the human resource.
“Some of us are Diploma holders but as ECDE teachers we are regarded merely as care givers. Even with good academic qualifications, we do not progress in our careers compared to our counterparts employed by TSC,” Koech said.
He said their service to the Nandi children which includes laying a basic education foundation should not be disregarded but instead be taken more seriously by the county Government.
The teachers told North rift mirror that they have been working under contracts since 2014 where the current contract expired on 30th June 2018 and they are due to renew with the county government.
They however lamented over their new contract saying that the terms are not clear as others are directed to write extension of contract letters while others just fill bio data forms without any clarification from county ECDE administrators.
They have called on the county governmeny to employ them on permanent and pensionable terms and be paid better salaries as other counties have already given ECDE teachers permanent jobs.
The fate of retirement pension for those who are about to retire remains unknown. Some are heading into retirement with nil National Social Security Fund (NSSF) accounts as the county government did not remit despite being deducted from their salaries.
Many of them also have no Medical covers since their employer currently do not deduct the amount for the cover from their salaries, This decision came after they raised complaints that their medical cover deductions were also not remitted to NHIF despite deduction from their salaries.
The ECDE centres are faced with shortage of instructional material which sometimes force teachers to use their little salaries to buy chalks and other learning materials.
At Kapmimie primary in Aldai sub-county with 270 pupils have one ECDE teacher while Kimondi primary school with 40 pupils have two ECDE teachers employed by the county government.
Though the county government is in the process of hiring additional ECDE teachers they (teachers) have called on the county government confirm them under permanent terms first saying that the confirmation will also help weed out those without papers.
Poor learning conditions:
There are more than 50,000 children in the Nandi ECDE programme but some learn under poor conditions for lack of classrooms and desks.
A spot check by the North Rift Mirror on Monday found out that some pupils learned inside mud-walled classrooms with dilapidated structures exposing the learners to acute weather conditions during rainy season.
At Kamenjeiwa ECDE centre in Tinderet Sub-county learners are using a mud-floor classroom, posing health risk.
The major problem at Kamenjeiwa primary school ECDE Classroom also in Tindiret sub-county is still scarce infrastructure so six learners are forced to share one desk which is supposed to be used by three.
Scheme of service:
Early last month ECDE teachers country wide through their National represenative, demanded to be given a scheme of service to end the discrimination they have faced over the years.
The teachers complained that despite holding diploma and degree certificates, county governments are paying them a flat rate of below 10,000.
Other counties, they said, have refused to employ them on permanent basis.
Contacted over the ECDE teacher’s quest for improved terms of service, Nandi county education CECM Stanley Baliach said the government has no such plans.
Baliach who is the National chairman of Education CECs caucus said that a new scheme of service for ECDE teachers from TSC is in the offing and there after the ECDE will be reverted to the National government.
Baliach comments came in a time when Governors have opposed calls to have Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers employment by counties reverted to Teacher Service Commission (TSC).
Speaking during the first national ECDE teachers meeting with stakeholders last month, Council of Governors’ Education Committee chair Paul Chepkwony said the change would require a referendum.
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