Thursday June 11, 2020
Abdirashid Hussein, a teacher at Al-amiin secondary school in Hagarder/Ahmed Abdullahi/Ergo
(ERGO) - Around 500 teachers at private schools in the Somali refugee camps in Dadaab are in financial difficulties after losing their pay since all schools were closed as part of Coronavirus lock down measures in Kenya.
Teachers like Fadumo Abdi Adan, at Al-ma’mun primary school, relied on her monthly salary of around 150 dollars (15,000 Kenya shillings) to support her family of four children and her jobless husband.
“Our livelihood is no longer the same, and we are becoming more and more vulnerable,” Fadumo told Radio Ergo. “Since Ramadan, and as we speak, we have not paid the debts we have accumulated over the last two months and half.”
Fadumo is the sole breadwinner in her family and does not know how she will meet her family’s costs.
Private schools use the income from school fees to pay their teachers. As the parents are no long paying fees for their children, the schools have stopped the teachers’ payroll. those at schools run by aid agencies are still being paid despite the closure. Teachers at schools run by NGOs are reported to be still getting a salary despite the closure.
Abdullahi Mohamed Ali, a teacher at Imamu-shafi’i primary school in Dadaab’s Hagardera refugee camp, supports his mother and three siblings. He is in a similar situation of not being able to provide for them at the moment.
Abdirashid Abdi Hussein, a teacher at Al-amiin secondary school in Hagardera, said he is facing the toughest financial difficulties he has ever experienced.
“I am a family man with children. I normally support my family with income from the school – my mother and dependents are counting on me alone. We don’t have any other source of income,” he said.
“This happened so suddenly and nobody was expecting it,” Abdirashid told Radio Ergo. “We were told in the midst of our work that the [Kenyan] president had ordered the closure of all schools. When this announcement came, everyone just disappeared and we have not gone back since then.”
The Kenyan government has announced that schools in the country will reopen in September.