Teachers teaching in hardship areas face several challenges, some of which include:
- Limited access to food
- Unreliable transport due to poor accessibility, limited roads, or fewer public vehicles
- Limited access to social amenities like hospitals and dispensaries.
- Few and inaccessible shopping centers. Accessing even bank services in some areas is a very big problem
- Unbearable climatic conditions like persistent flooding, landslides, droughts e.t.c
- High levels of insecurity.
- Lack of water
When it comes to posting, the teachers’ service commission can post a teacher in any school within Kenya. Even the TSC adverts have a clause that tests teachers’ loyalty to serve in any school where they will be posted.
Living and working in hardship areas comes with its own share of discomfort to the teacher, and that is the reason for them being renumerated.
To compensate the cost of living for teachers working in hardship areas, the teachers’ service commission, TSC, adds hardship allowance as an extra allowance in their pay slips.
As per the TSC 2021-2024 CBA counter proposal that was presented to the SRC, there is no increment in hardship allowance. The hardship allowance therefore will remain as it is currently. The proposals of the two unions, KNUT and KUPPET, also did not touch on hardship allowance.
The table below gives a summary of the hardship allowance rates that teachers working in hardship areas earn, based on their job groups.
Currently, Teachers in the highest job group D5, earn the highest hardship allowance while those in the lowest job group, B5, earn the least amount in hardship allowance. Initially, hardship allowance was a flat rate for all the job groups.