A section of leaders from Narok is now calling on the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to classify the county as a hardship area for teachers.
Led by Governor Patrick Ole Ntutu and Senator Ledama Olekina, the leaders called on TSC to pay the teachers hardship allowances in compensation for, among others, high cost of living.
Speaking during a consultative meeting with TSC commissioners and other education stakeholders at the county offices, Governor Ntutu urged the commission to give Narok teachers special allowances like their counterparts in Kajiado county.
“I am aware TSC has carried out a survey to consider if the county can be mapped as a hardship area for teachers. The climatic conditions, remoteness and many areas in Narok are semi-arid, like our neighbouring county of Kajiado,” Ntutu said.
Teachers shortage in Narok
The governor said a teacher shortage in the county has affected learning in schools.
He said the county is grappling with a shortage of 2,546 teachers both in primary and secondary schools.
“We have a shortage of 1,247 in secondary school and 1,299 teachers in Primary schools, which is an impingement to education performance by our learners,” Ntutu added.
The county boss' sentiments were echoed by Senator Olekina who said the risk of wildlife attacks in the area was high and greatly affect the free movement of the teachers to local trading centres.
For TSC to classify an area to be a hardship area, the locality must meet any of these conditions; Lack of or unavailability or inaccessibility to food, Inadequate transport and communication network, Limited basic social services and amenities, Persistent harsh climatic conditions like flooding, landslides and drought and Insecurity and high possibility of security threats.
“Narok suits most of these conditions and these teachers working in hardship areas face a myriad of challenges; from lack of water, hostile living conditions and threats of wildlife attacks, so they should be considered as beneficiaries of these allowances in efforts to keep them in these schools,” Narok Woman Representative Rebecca Tonkei said.
Other legislators who attended the stakeholders' meeting were MPs Gabriel Tongoyo (Narok West), Agnes Pareyio (Narok North), Kitilai Ntutu (Narok South) and Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde.
Meanwhile, Masinde informed the meeting that some 20 girls in one of the high schools in the county are among 120 teenagers who are attending classes while pregnant.
“Despite we have dropped from 60 per cent to 40 per cent, there are still rampant cases of teen pregnancies and we are putting those behind the vice on notice that they will be hunted down, arrested and charged before the court of law,” Masinde said.