, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 9 – The National Assembly Education Science and Technology committee has called on the government and teachers’ unions to soften their stance to resolve the ongoing teacher’s strike which entered its fifth day Friday.
Led by chairman Julius Melly (Tinderet), the committee implored the parties to look at the interest of students and taxpayers, further urging the government to sit with teachers once again and come to an understanding.
“The hard positions taken by both the unions and the government is wanting and we are asking that the Teachers Service Commission Secretary, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and the Secretary for Labour and unions to come back again and negotiate; it is not about do or die… it is about our country, it is about our children and it is about our nation. The government should be diplomatic enough to win the hearts of teachers and stop the threats,” said Melly.
The committee went on express its willingness to mediate between the parties to avert this and other strikes that have constantly rocked the education sector especially when schools re-open and just before exams thus disrupting the students’ learning.
“Whereas the government still holds to its position that it doesn’t have enough money, the unions need to be humane and be considerate in negotiations and demands. We should not be a country engaging in strikes first year, second year and every year,” posed Melly.
“We are appealing to the union leaders and the membership to look at the plight of the millions of Kenyan children and their parents who are suffering as the strike approaches the second week,” he added.
The committee acknowledged that there was problem in the education sector on issues of remuneration and thus the need for all parties to soberly come to the negotiation table to reach a compromise.
“If there is anything they have to put across, let it be free, let it be fair to all of them, we don’t want where the government to arm twists others,” Melly added.
The MPs also warned the government against threatening teachers with action, saying this will worsen the already tense situation.
The committee intends to hold other consultative meetings to come up with a solution to the problems ailing the education sector.
Melly was joined by other committee members including, Geoffrey Odanga (Matayos), Rose Rwamba Mitaru (Embu), Yusuf Chanzu (Vihiga) Cecilia Ng’etich (Bomet), Ken Okoth (Kibra) and Mathare North MP Stephen Kariuki.