Teachers In 8 Areas To Lose As 7 Other Areas Gain Hardship Allowance
A report to review hardship allowance which will be tabled in Parliament for adoption next week has caused jitters amongst teachers in hardship areas.
Representatives drawn from Ministry of Public Service and Gender, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Ministry of Education, The National Treasury and Planning, Public Service Commission, Teachers Service Commission, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Council of Governors, Commission on Revenue Allocation, Salaries and Remuneration Commission and The Judiciary are said to have approved scrapping of hardship allowances in some areas of the country.
The report has categorized regions as extreme hardship, average hardship and minimal hardship hence giving room for payment stoppage.
This follows a petition read by National Assembly Speaker Hon. Moses Wetangula yesterday on behalf of a member of the public on gazettement of Rachuonyo North constituency as a hardship area.
The Petitioner asserts that Rachuonyo North Sub-County has dire poverty levels. The schools in the area severely understaffed with low pupil attendance.
Additionally, teachers in Karachuonyo North are not receiving hardship allowances despite teachers serving in neighboring areas having the benefits.
Notice informing on scrapping hardship allowance
In order to boost teacher morale and education in hardship areas, the petition urges the National Assembly to consider the criteria for determining hardship areas.
In supporting the petition, Legislators observed the need for a clear guideline regarding the identification of hardship areas.
In the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) TSC listed the following as the official ASAL and Hard to staff areas;
1) Baringo North; Tiaty East, Tiaty West and Marigat sub-counties in Baringo County.
2) Garissa County
3) Suba and Mbita sub-counties in Homa Bay County
4) Isiolo County
5) Mashuuru, Loitoktok and Kajiado West sub-counties in Kajiado County
6) Kwale County
7) Magarini and Ganze in Kilifi County
8) Lamu County
9) Mandera County
10) Marsabit County
11)Mumoni, Mutito North and Tseikuru sub-counties in Kitui County
12) Narok South and Narok North sub-counties in Narok County
13) Samburu County
14) Taita Taveta County
15) Tana River County
16) Turkana County
17) Wajir County
18) West Pokot County
However not all areas falling in the above categories enjoy hardship allowance as some its only applicable in some subcounties and not whole county.
Plights of teachers acting in ASAL areas
Areas recommended for hardship allowance payment include Nyando, Chonyi, Lungalunga Suba and parts of Nandi areas.
While others including parts of Samburu and Kinango, Lamu, Tana River and Taita Taveta have been recommended for scrapping.
in 2020 the World Bank asked Kenya to scrap hardship allowance to save Sh3 billion as part of cost-cutting measures to return the country on track after increased spending during the coronavirus pandemic.
The World Bank argued that public officers enjoying the hefty allowances work in areas categorized as hardship decades ago, but have since developed and no longer qualify for the tag.
“The review of hardship zones is needed as several regions have developed their infrastructure and social amenities over the last two decades and are no longer classified hardship areas,” the World Bank report on Kenya Public Expenditure Review reads.
This move will have negative impact on teachers payslips. Majority of teachers have already committed their payslips and this will reduce their borrowing power.