As Strike Enters Week 3, Data Reveals Teacher Earnings in Kenya


As the teacher strikes in Kenya run into their third week data reveals teachers in the country are among the best paid in Africa.

A study by Kenyan publication Nation Newsplex and the Institute of Economic Affairs compared data with Uganda and South Africa, plus other African nations where data was available.

Kenyan teachers’ wages revealed

The study finds that the lowest earning teacher in Kenya earns more than the highest-paid teacher in Uganda and the average teacher wage in Kenya also beats regional neighbour Tanzania.

South African teachers are the only group in the study to earn more than their Kenyan counterparts, but the wage gap between teachers in Kenya is more extreme than in South Africa. To put this into context, even the lowest-earning teacher in Kenya earns 44 percent above the average wage (only 2 percent in South Africa) and the highest paid teachers in Kenya can earn as much as nine times the entry-level wage.

Shortage of teachers in Kenya

Meanwhile, the teacher shortage in Kenya sees classes of up to 50 pupils in public primary schools taken by a single teacher – a higher ratio than that of Senegal, Cameroon, Djibouti and Ghana. Ghana boasts the lowest ratio from the group (30:1) while the UNESCO benchmark is 24:1, less than half the current ratio in Kenyan primary schools.

The findings won’t do much to help pupils or parents stuck in the middle of a stand-off between teachers unions and the TSC. Both parties claim the others actions are unlawful, but the High Court has so far failed to deliver a verdict, setting September 25 as the date to reveal its decision.

Teachers are demanding better pay in Kenya and a court ruling last month ordered the TSC to increase wages by 50-60 percent over the next four years. The commission failed to do so, prompting strikes from teachers unions – however the TSC has maintained industrial action was unlawful from the start.


Feature image:

flickr photo shared by The Alliance of Religions and Conservation under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license