NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 3 – Teachers made good their strike threat on Monday as they boycotted classes to press the government to implement a 1997 salary increment, paralysing learning in most public schools.
Students and pupils in most public schools countrywide reported to school but they did not find teachers, and were forced to go back home.
A court order had blocked the strike last Friday but the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) vowed to mobilise teachers to stay away from classes, arguing that they had not been served with the order.
In what has been dubbed as ‘a mother of all strikes’ teachers congregating at their local KNUT branches as instructed by their union bosses.
A spot check by Capital FM News established that the strike was felt in most parts of the country, including Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu among other towns.
In Kisumu, several schools remained deserted as no teachers turned up.
Schools affected in Kisumu include Highway, Kibuye, Arya, Shauri Moyo and Migosi primary schools among others.
Although few teachers turned up in some secondary schools, they did not go to classes for normal learning.
A teacher at Kisumu Girls High School who declined to be named told Capital FM News that three quarters of teachers did not report to work.
The teachers have vowed not to go to class until ordered to do so by their union officials.
Schools in Rarieda, Homa Bay, Rachuonyo, Siaya and other districts within Nyanza province experienced similar challenges.
The KNUT Executive Secretary in Rarieda district Collins Oyu told Capital FM News that no school has been re-opened in the district, because they want to ensure the strike is “totally successful.”
In Mombasa, students and pupils in public institutions were sent home when they reported for classes.
Thousands of teachers converged at the local KNUT offices on Jomo Kenyatta Avenue where they vowed not to go to classrooms until their grievances were met.
“We are in solidarity with other teachers across the country and we would not be intimidated to return to work until our grievances are solved amicably,” Mombasa KNUT Secretary General Ayah Juma Ayah said.
The strike did not affect students and pupils in private schools.