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Delocalized Teachers Sleep outside TSC Office Demanding Transfers 

Delocalized Teachers Sleep outside TSC Office Demanding Transfers 

More than 50 primary school teachers in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya, have been camping outside the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) office in Chuka town since May 10.

They are demanding transfers to their home sub-counties after the delocalization policy was abolished by President William Ruto’s administration.

However, when they submitted their transfer letters to the Tharaka Nithi County TSC office, they were informed that the only available vacancies were in different sub-counties.

Frustrated by this response, the teachers have taken to protesting and vowed to remain at the TSC office until their requests are granted.

Reasons for Transfer Requests

The teachers come from Tharaka North, Tharaka South, and Chiakariga sub-counties but currently teach in Embu, Meru, and Kitui counties.

They have various reasons for seeking transfers. Some teachers point out that there is a shortage of teachers in their home sub-counties, with some schools having as few as four teachers.

They claim that their bosses are prioritizing the transfer of their friends to these areas due to the availability of hardship allowances.

We applied to be transferred to schools near our homes for various reasons and we will not accept to be deployed in other counties,” one teacher said.

Furthermore, they allege that teachers from other counties have used corruption to secure transfers to hardship areas, thereby disadvantaging those who genuinely come from those areas.

Marital and familial reasons also motivate many teachers to request transfers. They desire to live near their spouses and build families.

The current situation of being away from their homes and unable to spend time with their spouses due to the financial constraints of traveling frequently has strained their relationships.

“Someone like me, I am married but I have never enjoyed married life because I have been working away from my spouse,” said Mrs Mwangi.

Some teachers who are transferring from hardship areas also face the challenge of servicing significant loans, which would be difficult without the hardship allowance.

Protests and Union Support

The protesting teachers have received support from the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Tharaka Nithi County chapter.

Knut officials, including the county chapter executive secretary and the Tharaka constituency executive secretary, have joined the teachers in their protest and are insisting that their demands be met.

They argue that the teachers have been working away from their homes for an extended period and should be given the opportunity to work closer to their families.

They emphasize that teachers’ salaries are already low, making it challenging for them to afford rent in areas where they are compelled to work.

Efforts have been made to engage with the county TSC office, but the teachers claim that the county TSC director has declined to address them.

However, they have been assured that the matter will be resolved soon by the director, who is currently away from the office.

Despite these assurances, the teachers are determined to continue their protest until their pleas are heard and their transfer requests granted.

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