, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 23 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) is divided over the revision of term dates and examination calendar by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.
According to Secretary General Wilson Sossion, a break of more than two months for learners will have massive side effects both on the learner and will impact them negatively.
He further pointed out that the changes will affect teachers’ programmes within the various institutions of learning.
“Teachers attend school based programmes in different universities within Kenya and outside Kenya. They therefore stand to lose their programmes and the money invested in the programmes. A two week August holiday is therefore unacceptable to our members,” he stated.
He also stated that the curriculum will have also have to be reviewed to keep up with the period of time allocated for learning.
He indicated that mid-term breaks were a recommendation of a task force by the Education Ministry and withdrawing the same is contravening the recommendations that might see waves of unrest resurge.
“How do you keep your children home for two months? That is unacceptable. Our children will have too much time in their hands and in the end of it all it may impact negatively on their studies,” he said.
He stated that exams were mismanaged by the Kenya National Examination Council officials and the security forces and not related whatsoever to the school calendar.
He further explained that the union did not ratify the changes, a claim refuted by KNUT National Chairman Mudzo Nzili.
“Recommendations arrived at in your meetings even in the presence of my representative cannot bind our members unless approved and adopted by the union organs,” Sossion said.
He stated that as Secretary General he is the sole spokesperson of the union since he is personally responsible for all decisions by the union.
“The office of the Secretary General takes responsibility for all union decisions and the person of the Secretary General is personally liable and accountable to all union decisions and is the sole spokesman of the union and its members,” he stated.
Nzili however told Capital FM News that the changes by the Education Ministry were welcome saying they will bring sanity in the education sector.
“We have to look at every way of helping our children and we must keep an open mind. We cannot continue with the old order of doing things and things must change,” he said.
He stated that the union was duly represented in the meeting with the Education Ministry and emphasized that with the Deputy Secretary General Hezbon Otieno.