The ongoing industrial action by teachers has no doubt displayed their frustrations and waning patience with regard to their salary increment.
Whereas their demands echo the pressure majority of the citizens are feeling, it is imperative that they convey this in a civil manner.
Teachers play an important role in society of moulding the youth into responsible and useful citizens.
Therefore their actions will be called into question if they do not fit into those parameters.
Recent images of teachers tearing up exam papers, roughing up their colleagues and dehumanizing them for not participating in the strike cannot be wished away. These actions are not only irresponsible but they are a dangerous example to the same group of young ones they are trying to mentor and teach.
Students spend majority of their formative stages of life interacting with teachers. The outcome therefore is highly influenced by the teachers.
It is important to note that demonstrating or picketing peacefully to bring change or communicate disaffection is enshrined in the constitution. However the greater good for the country should come first.
It would be great if Kenyan teachers sent a strong message to the world that difference in opinion, must not always result in loss of respect for others. This can be done by demonstrating peacefully or better still patiently pursuing dialogue.
Global economic dynamics have also impacted Kenya negatively as much as other countries. Some have even opted to take pay cuts to keep their nations afloat. We therefore urge teachers to act with restraint and put the interest of the country first as the government works to find a solution to the impasse.
An amicable resolution between both parties will be a win for Kenya’s brand image internationally, given the fact that governance plays a key role in shaping the perception of a country. Assessment of a country brand image for investors, visitors and the international media is determined to a great extent by the social and political stability of the country.
The advantage to Kenya of a good national image will be increased investment, a secure future for our youth, a conducive place to live for all citizens and a desirable destination for visitors to Kenya.
This indeed is what would contribute the much needed revenues to even improve the remuneration terms for all workers.
Kimonye is the Chief Executive Office – Brand Kenya Board