Union threatens to escalate NEP teachers issue

February 9, 2015 2:49 pm
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KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion says the government is not taking the issue seriously because no action has been taken since the schools were opened a month ago/FILE
KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion says the government is not taking the issue seriously because no action has been taken since the schools were opened a month ago/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 9 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has now threatened to take the current wrangles over North Eastern teachers to the International Labour Centre if the Teachers Service Commission fails to transfer tutors.

KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion says the government is not taking the issue seriously because no action has been taken since the schools were opened a month ago.

“We therefore urge the government to fully integrate the affected teachers in whatever action they have purportedly taken to secure their safety rather than the casual nature of address through the media,” he stated.

“In as much as we appreciate and feel hurt within our hearts, the plight of the children and their education, we also pause for a moment and share the grief, the emotional torture and life uncertainties these teachers and their families go through. It is time we fairly balance these compelling interests.”

He insisted that no teacher will report to their former schools despite the continued intimidation by the Teachers Service Commission which has threatened to sack them.

The over 800 teachers from Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties remain adamant not to resume work despite threats by the government to sack them, with Deputy President William Ruto now saying they have a last chance to report to work.

“It is noteworthy that the government – both national and county levels – have been involved in this matter.

Unfortunately, the employer has continuously advanced the right of the child to education under Article 53 of the Constitution without giving the premium to the inalienable right of the teacher to life and adequate security and to fair labour practice,” he stated.

He noted that Northeastern political leadership also declared their stand against the teachers.

“It is public knowledge that the political leadership of Northeastern region have openly stated that parents and students do not need these teachers and that they would be risking their lives by going back,” he pointed out.

“Teaching as a profession is in essence a contract for service and not a contract for the support of services.

Politicizing it and intimidating the teachers to report to work does not yield to ultimate achievement of objectives by the teacher.”

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