12 August 2018

Kenya: Teachers Disagree With KNUT On Planned Strike

Teachers have differed with their union on their professional development training programmes that will also determine their promotions, saying they are ready to cater for their expenses.

Teachers Service Commission (TSC) chief executive Nancy Macharia said teachers would be required to undergo the professional upgrading course during holidays and cater for expenses despite opposition from their union.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has called a nationwide teachers' strike starting on September 1, saying that there have been no proper consultations on the TPD (Teacher Professional Development) training.

Last week, Knut secretary-general Wilson Sossion criticised the TSC for coming up with a new policy that requires teachers to undertake the training after every five years or face the sack. Mr Sossion said the teachers would only undergo the training if the government pays for it.

CAREER PROGRESSION

But the Kenya Primary Schools Headteachers Association (Kepsha) chairman, Mr Shem Ndolo, on Sunday urged teachers to ignore Knut and pursue their career progression.

"The association champions the interest of our professionalism and we make things straight. The appraisals have been in place since 2016, and they are with us to stay. Anything for our own development is beneficial to us," Mr Ndolo said at a press conference to announce the start of the 14th Kenya Primary School Heads Association Conference in Mombasa.

Sossion, TSC headed for clash over appraisal

Knut reveals date for teachers' strike - VIDEO

Knut gives TSC ultimatum on appraisals

According to the TSC, more than 312,060 teachers will pay for six professional development training programmes that will also determine their promotions.

DELOCALISATION POLICY

Knut is also opposed to the delocalisation policy, saying it has broken many families and seen more than 100 teachers quit the profession after being barred from working in their home counties.

Speaking on the sidelines of the African Confederation of Principals meeting at Pride Inn Hotel in Mombasa, last week, Mr Sossion said many teachers, who were transferred, had opted to resign or seek employment in county governments.

Mr Ndolo asked the TSC to go slow on implementation of the delocalisation policy, saying delegates must be fully informed about it.

He said the policy had teething problems, urging the TSC to consider the aged and sick teachers.

LOOMING STRIKE

However, he added, the issue does not warrant a strike and urged their union, employer and the teachers association to meet and iron it out.

"Kepsha, as an association, cannot just join any bandwagon without a clear explanation as to why we are going on strike.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is on Monday expected to officially open the conference. This amid a looming strike called by Knut over the challenges affecting the profession.

Kepsha wants teachers deployed in hardship and terror-prone areas such as Lamu and Mandera assured of their safety.

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