Some of the teachers who were serving in Arid and Semi-arid Land (ASAL) areas were in for a rude shock after the Teachers Service Commission(TSC) reviewed and enlisted new areas as hardship areas.
The move saw some areas being scrapped off from the list of ASAL and hard to staff areas. In the new 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement that was signed by Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) and Union of Special Needs Education Teachers(KUSNET) and which became effective on July 1, 2021, TSC listed a total of eighteen(18) new areas as ASAL and hard to staff areas.
The new areas comprise majorly of areas where there is famine and terrorism and are a reduction from the previous 38 areas listed in 2012.
The new ASAL and hard to staff areas are now Garissa, Isiolo, Kwale, Lamu, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Taita-Taveta, Turkana and West Pokot counties. Others are Baringo North, Tiaty East and West and Marigat sub-counties in Baringo County, Mashuuru, Loitoktok and KajiadoWest sub-counties in KajiadoCounty,Suba and Mbitasub-counties in Homa-Bay County ,Magarini and Ganze sub-counties in Kilifi County, Mumoni, Mutito North and Tseikuru Sub-counties in KituiCounty and Narok South and North sub- counties in Narok County.
Besides their basic salary and other allowances, teachers in these areas are entitled to a hardship allowance of between Sh 6,600 on the lowest G (B5)to Sh 38, 100 on the highest Grade (D5).
Some of the areas which have been excluded from the list include all Sub-counties in Nyandarua county and some sub-counties in Nandi, Nakuru ,Kisumu, Busia, Kericho and Makueni counties.
In March this year, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission(SRC) through its circular titled Allowance Benefits Policy and Implementation Guidelines for the Public Sector, restructured the hardship allowance in what it terms as allowances whose rates are not commensurate with intended purpose.
“Devolution has implied that Counties are no longer necessarily hardship are as since they receive equalization funds to promote devolution in the counties thereby addressing the characteristics of hardship areas, “adds the policy. The Commission has announced 1,376 promotional positions for Secondary Teachers, Senior masters, Deputy Principals, Primary Teachers, Deputy Head Teachers and Head teachers as per the provisions of Career Progression Guidelines(CPG) for teachers in the ASAL and hard to staff areas.
The highest number of vacancies declared in these areas is 299 posts for Senior Teacher II at Grade C2. Senior Master IV at Grade C4 had 178 vacant posts while Senior Master ll at Grade C5 and Deputy Headtecher and Headteacher Grade C5 have 105 and 111 vacant posts respectively.
Those interested in servingin those areas have until September 28,2021 to send their applications online.
In the new CBA, the Commission promised to fast track promotions of teachers holding administrative positions and serving in Arid and Semi-arid Land (ASAL areas.
“The employer shall endeavor to promote members serving in ASAL and hard to staff areas holding administrative positions progressively until they at gradesthat are commensurate to respective positions.
Meanwhile, they shall be retained in their current stations/areas until attainment of the substantive grades,”reads the CBA.