Kenya: Education system paralysed due to teachers strike
Posted by African Press International on September 17, 2012
BY MAURICE ALAL, reporting from Kisumu, Kenya
The Kenya National Parents Association- Nyanza Chapter of Parents Association (KNCPA) have challenged the government to speed up negotiation with teachers to end the ongoing strike that has paralysed learning activities for the last two weeks. Some of the most affected institutions include Primary, Secondary and University especially the public owned ones.
The teachers are said to have opted for strike after it emerged that the government was reluctant to meet their salary increment of 300% that will saw the least earning teachers to get Shs. 39,000. This include the rent, travelling, hardship and medical allowances.
The strike comes only two months to the Kenya National Examinations
leaving the children in a state of confusion with the government insisting that the strike was illegal.
However, the parents from Nyanza region led by Regional Chairman Mr.
Jackson Omollo said that the ongoing strike will lead to drastic decline in performance if no quick action is taken by the government.
On the other hand the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Kenya Union of Post Primary Education (KUPPET) and the University counterpart officials who insist that they would not go back to class before their demands are cleared.
They urged the government to fulfil the agreement that was signed in 1997 and 2002 which have not been honoured despite of the negotiation between teachers and government.
Omollo also said that children spend a lot of time in school without teachers to care for them hence exposing them to insecurity.
The chairman told the two principal, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki to intervene for a possible solution to put an end to the ongoing strike.
However, the parents have accused the government stop intimidating and
threatening of teachers saying that the move will only fuel violence and called for dialogue.
“Without proper dialogue between teachers and the government, education system will go down in the country” Omollo said, adding that it is the parents who feel the pain of the strike especially the poor.
The chairman has also asked the parents to be patient and take care of their children especially the girl child who can easily be lured into sexual activities.
But the Nyanza parents revealed that they will go for demonstration if the notice given to the government by the Nyanza Parents Chapter Association over matter is not solved immediately.
“We as parents will go to court to compel the government to pay teachers their salary increment according to the signed agreement,” Omollo said. He further urged the government to postpone the National examination dates if the strike continues.
However, the strike comes barely two weeks after the countrywide doctors strike that paralyses health services in the public hospital over the same salary increment that they alleged has not been fulfilled.