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Thika Teachers Camp At Naidu Hospital For 3 Weeks To Get AON's Biometric Registration..

Thika KNUT Executive Secretary Joe Mungai Ngigi has appealed to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to decentralise the process of registering for the AON’s biometric smart cards medical scheme and extend the April 30th deadline set for teachers in public schools lest they begin second term on a go slow.

“This is a group cover, why is the insurance company dealing with individual teachers? TSC should provide us with a better Insurance company that is respectful to its clients. What we are experiencing is an issue of teachers being mishandled,” said Mr Mungai.

Teachers drawn from Kiambu County and Gatanga Sub-County have been camping in Thika for the entire April holidays in an effort to beat deadline.

Speaking at Naidu Hospital, Thika during the exercise, the teachers complained of frustrations and lack of proper co-ordination in the part of the organisers.  

“I have been lining up for the cards from last week Friday up to now and I am yet to be served. AON's decision to run the exercise in a tiny place without proper mechanisms of hastening the process is the cause of all this congestion,” said Ms Grace Muguro.

Ms Muguro added that she has wasted her entire April holiday period chasing after the card only for her to get frustrated every time she goes to queue.

“Our cards are scattered all over, we are disappointed at the lack of order in this process. TSC should have asked school heads to collect the registration forms and cards for us through the county TSC office. We have lost valuable time that could have been spent doing other things,” she lamented.

Other teachers complained that the new cover was giving them challenges accessing health services from major hospitals in the country.

“Most hospitals are rejecting the cover, I have been to several hospitals who refused to use my card and most recently when my son's eyes fell sick, I took him to a hospital expecting to use the cover to pay for his sun glasses only to be told that my dependents were not included in the cover,” said a teacher who opted to remain anonymous.

They threatened to boycott the process if TSC does nothing to improve the status quo.
TSC withdrew teachers’ medical allowances July last year and asked them to register for a medical cover with AON Kenya Insurance Brokers limited. AON Kenya is an agent of AON plc an international provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services.

“Why bundle teachers together in Naidu while DHROs could have them delivered to the teachers in their schools? Collecting of biometric cards is quite in order but both the TSC and AON should employ a better and more organised way of serving teachers,” said Mungai.

The secretary also chided the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) for its delay in clearing dues for about 20,000 teachers who marked last year’s KCPE and KCSE exams.

“KNEC has continued to dishonour arrangements with its examiners. If the delays persist we might be forced to take legal action since this goes against labour practice. Delayed payments is an abuse of an individual's human rights. In future teachers are going to demand for prepayment,” he said.

On the much rumoured ceasefire between KNUT and the TSC, Mungai said this was cosmetic as the union can meet anyone and everyone but it is only in statehouse that the union can be salvaged.

“It is very unfortunate though that nearly 1000 Kenyans working in KNUT offices across Kenya have rendered jobless following the impasse between the two institutions. Otherwise, there is no cause of alarm because we shall overcome in the name of Jesus,” he said.

Word was going round the teaching fraternity that a TSC-KNUT 'cease fire' had been achieved following Prof. Lydia Naomi, Nancy Macharia and other TSC commissioners visit to the KNUT offices in Nairobi early this month.

Mungai was also against the idea of KNUT and KUPPET contracting commercial banks to collect union dues on their behalf with intention to beat TSC’s refusal to remit the same to the unions.
“I think, in my own personal opinion, that this is an exercise in futility. What will happen when a teacher changes his/her pay-point?” he asked.

Otherwise, he supported Education CS Dr. Fred Okeng'o Matiang'i’s order to stop headteachers from buying textbooks but said that the matter must be handled prudently.

“If Dr. Matiang is acting in good faith I support him but if he is doing it to discipline the headteachers, then he is lost. Who is going to be the custodian of these materials after their procurement?” he concluded. 

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