Teachers threaten strike

August 17, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, August 17 – Teachers in Secondary and Tertiary Institutions have threatened to go on strike next month, if their salaries are not harmonised with those of civil servants.

Through the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), they claimed the government had in the last five years increased pay for some civil servants leaving out teachers in similar job groups.

KUPPET’s Secretary General Njeru Kanyamba Sunday said despite the reconstitution of the Teachers Service Remuneration Committee eight months ago, no brief on the salary increments had been announced.

“The terms of employment today are that the teachers are being paid very little and we don’t want to accept that. So if our job is important that we have to take care of children then it is important that the government pay us according to our roles,” Kanyamba stated.

“We are not offering charitable work and therefore we must be paid,” he said.

National Treasurer Wicks Njenga said it would cost the government Sh8.5 billion for the harmonisation of the salaries that should be backdated to July last year.

“If for example you look at job group R, you realise that a civil servant enters the job group at Sh94,235 while teachers at the same job group gets paid Sh36,790 and these are people who have the same level of education only that some decided to be teachers,” Njenga noted.

The union is also demanding for a circular from the government on the ban of holiday tuition.

Chairman Akelo Misori said the ban by the Ministry of Education was a roadside declaration that could not be implemented.

He said the banning required a lot of input from educationists because the need for the remedial teaching was based on structure of the curriculum and the students.

“We teach students whose entry points are quite different. How can they say that someone offering remedial teaching should be stopped?” he posed.  “It is unfortunate.”

Kanyamba on the other hand said the government should come up with an option on how weak students would be catered for.

“The teachers don’t want to be involved in this but because of the demands of the curriculum they find no reason not to stay in class. Indeed we would want that there is no tuition at all,” Kanyamba said.

“We are asking the government to come out clearly with a program and explain what is going to be done because the curriculum is so loaded that it cannot be concluded within the given term dates.”


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