Kenya: Bishops Appeals to Teachers to Re-Consider Strike

Photo: Unicef/IRIN
The strike is expected to paralyse the country's public education system.

Machakos — The catholic bishops of Kenya have appealed to the teachers to reconsider their planned strike saying the timing of the strike is "critical in learning and education structure in the country."

Speaking to journalists on August 9 at St Joseph's Pastoral Centre, Katoloni - Machakos, Bishop Maurice Makumba Muhatia, the Chairman of the Kenya Catholic Church's Commission on Education and Religious education noted that the strike during the last term of the year would interfere with the preparation for the national examinations.

"I call for a lot of prudence on the part of teachers, I call for a lot of understanding on the part of teachers... yes they are raising issues that require the attention of the government but they also need to think about the pupils and students because we are moving towards the time and moment for the final examinations for the standard eight and form four candidates," said the bishop.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) on August 19 wrote a 7 days' notice letter to the Kenya Teachers Service Commission (TSC) on the impending strike set to start on September 3 the same day schools are set to re-open for the third term.

Another teachers union Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) has also joined the call for a strike pressing on the government to harmonize teachers' salaries with that of other civil servants in the same job groups.

The teachers have threatened not to report to schools until the government honours an agreement it had with them five years ago to increase salaries and allowances over a ten year period.

Central Organisation of Trade Unions Kenya (Cotu) secretary-general Francis Atwoli has urged the government to conduct negotiations with the teachers in order to avoid a strike that will affect thousands of pupils.

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