Teaching is a noble profession in most parts of the world, but not in the modern Kenya.
When the country got independence, everyone who wanted to pursue higher education was encouraged to pursue a degree in Education. The advisers were so sure that once their member becomes a teacher, he could gain both status and wealth.
A teacher in 1980s was a big person in Kenya. In fact, everyone used to respect them, the villagers even used to bow before them as a sign of respect. Any good house you used to see in the village belonged to the teacher. Sadly, all the glory and glamour surrounding a teacher’s life and well-being has faded away, he is now just like any person in the streets.
Teaching profession was diluted when causes like medicine, law, engineering and nursing emerged, which were perceived to be more superior. More and more Kenyans started shifting from teaching to the new courses. One of the major motivating factors was ‘salary’.
The Public Service Commission implemented salary increments to other individuals within the system, leaving teachers wallowing in poverty.
Today, the gap between teachers’ salaries and salaries for other civil servants is very high, though no one is bothered to increase it.This year, court awarded them 50-60 % increment but the government refused to heed to the court verdict.
In Kenya, it’s almost impossible to find a teacher driving a Range Rover, Mercedes Benz, Porsch, Jaguar or any top of the range car. If he is lucky, then a Ksh 150,000 Toyota is fit for him, after saving for 20 years.
It’s a pity that out of 288,000 teachers, not even one earns more than Ksh 200, 000, whereas in medical profession the lowest Doctor earns not less than Ksh 120,000.
To make matters worse, a butcher man makes at least Ksh 1,500 per day while the average monthly salary for a Kenyan high school teacher is Ksh 25,000.
Mama mboga makes at least Ksh 600 per day, whereas the monthly salary for a P1 teacher is Ksh 15,000.
A question I have been asking myself, what is the need of wearing a suit every day, spending 8 hours in the office and making the village believe that you are rich when in the real sense you are suffering. Why can’t you even try owning just a general shop and see whether you will return to class again!
I agree, what is keeping teachers in class are loans. There is a general trend in the teaching fraternity that once an individual secures a job with TSC he rushes to the bank or SACCO for loan. In order to repay it, they have to work for
TSC until they pay full amount. Sometimes it can take a teacher up to 13 years to repay the loan, meaning that during the time of repayment, nothing will be going on.
A Kenyan teacher remains jobless for at least 4 years after graduation,and once they get employed strikes dominate their teaching careers.
Teaching is among the many professions in Kenya will give an individual automatic ticket to poverty. In order to become rich and enjoy the fat of this world, try other professions even if they are risky.