One of the most heartbreaking news in Kenya today is how most teachers are suffering during this pandemic. With family responsibilities on their shoulders and bills to pay, one wonders how this unpaid Bom, Private teachers and the non-teaching staffs survive. We've heard of private schools turning into chicken firms just to save its staff from starving.
It's not shocking to find a teacher on the construction sites, kiosks among other casual works that you won't expect them to do. However, this is a survival tactic that many teachers do in order to put food on the table. It is even a demotion for a teacher to come out of teaching right away to hawking. What a shameful government that less care about its professional citizens.
One of the latest updates on how teachers survive is of a school director for the 148 students school for the disabled in Juja. George Mwangi in Witeithie has captured the attention of teachers' suffering in just a fraction of what many teachers are undergoing. According to Citizen TV, the teacher has been forced to reside right in his office due to the tough economic situation.
The 38 years old St Georges Cornerstone School's founder has not been spared by the Covid-19 situation that led to school closure. He has been selling sweets in his village Witeithie, a village popularly known for labourers and quarry miners. Mr Mwangi is much respected and regarded as a blessing to society.
COVID-19 continues to expose the weaknesses of the Kenyan governing system.
When he founded the institution in 2015, Mwangi had a great vision of ensuring that the vulnerable children get educated at a secondary level just like every Kenyan citizen. It is remembered that at the time the school was started only Mangu School existed in the region but most people in the society could not afford school fees due to it's social and financial status.
In Mwangi's school kindness was one of the policies where the poor could receive uniforms even with the little amount of money they had. Some could pay fees in exchange for labour in the institution while others could bring items in exchange for an education.
Since school closure, his teachers turned into construction workers as some had to go back to their rural areas after being kicked out of their rental homes. Mr Mwangi whose wife is a teacher by profession couldn't help the situation when they were also kicked out of their rental premise.
Later on his wife had to leave with their three children to one of his relatives in Nyeri after their shop project collapsed. That's when he was forced to hawk just to earn between ksh100 to ksh200, an amount that does nothing other than feed his stomach. The physically handicapped teachers have to deny himself food in order to send a little to his family.
This is the situation that most teachers have to undergo in order to survive. Mr Mwangi now wants the government to help honour its pledge of saving private school teachers from suffering. The state had promised to give out ksh7,000,000,000 loan to private schools to enable them to pay teachers and other employees.
Board of Management teachers are also expecting to receive funds from the ministry of education probably before the end of this week as promised.