The Kenya National Union of Teachers has asked its members to ready themselves for a nationwide strike if the government fails to include funds for salaries, allowances and teacher recruitment in the education budget.
Knut Secretary General David Okuta yesterday said that they expect parliament's budget committee to review the Sh233 billion allocated for education. The union's NEC met recently and rejected the budget proposal read by Finance Minister Njeru Githae.
The NEC had given the government up to July 1 to review the budget. "We know there is money. Schools recently pushed for the release of free education funds and they were released." said Okuta. Knut Chairman Wilson Sossion said they had engaged the government before the proposed budget was read only for the government to ignore the union's proposals.
Teachers are demanding for a 300 percent salary increment and immediate implementation of the 1997 legal notice 534 which consist of teachers allowances. The allowances will cater for the payment of teachers in hardship areas in city municipality and urban areas. Knut also resolved that the government must employs 40, 000 primary and secondary teachers to curb the teacher shortage.
But Sossion said that they will demand for the employment of 80,000 teachers to alleviate the shortage. The Teachers Service Commission has been allocated Sh118.7 billion, it will use Sh4 billion to hire 10, 000 teachers. The union has also demanded the hiring of 23, 000 nursery school teachers.
The proposed budget allocated Sh1.6 billion to employ nursery school teachers. A proposal by teachers was to have 40, 000 teachers recruited so as to curb the acute teacher shortage in schools. This number can only be hired with Sh15 billion that teachers had proposed.