NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 4 – Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi is urging the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) to stop personalising education matters and instead work with the government in the provision of quality education.
This follows a resolution by KNUT to stop engaging with the CS on matters to do with education over what it terms as high handedness, while accusing him of not consulting them on key issues.
While observing that the union was entitled to its opinion, Kaimenyi however emphasised the need for its officials to approach education matters soberly.
“They are entitled to their own opinions and may not necessarily be correct. There are also other unions. We have UASU, KUPPET and all the others. We met with all of them last week so the issue about unions not talking to me does not arise. We must listen to them, we have been doing this and we will continue doing it. That is why we had consultative meetings the other day. The voices of everybody must be heard,” he said.
Speaking when he launched the National Education Sector Plan Thursday morning, Kaimenyi further urged KNUT to rethink its stance for the benefit of the country’s education growth.
“You cannot push your ideas down other people’s throats, you must be willing to be convinced by others and toe the line and say, the majority of Kenyans have a say,” he said while faulting the union’s Secretary General Wilson Sossion and how he was handling relations with the government.
“National issues are not personal matters,” he stated.
The sector has lately witnessed supremacy battles between Kaimenyi and the teachers’ union over education policies.
Both the CS and KNUT have been holding different views on issues affecting education with Kaimenyi stressing the need for consultations with a majority having their way while the union maintains the need for consensus on matters.
Last week, the union skipped a meeting that had been called by Kaimenyi at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development to look into issues affecting the sector.
Sossion declined to attend the meeting saying that no agenda had been drawn and described it as a waste of time.
However, rival Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers attended the meeting, saying that they saw no need to boycott it.
At the same time, Kaimenyi urged the union and its members to be patient with the government as it seeks to honor it pledges to teachers.
“There might be some delays in the release of the money for reasons beyond the control of our beloved government. What we expect from KNUT and everybody else is a measure of understanding. It is as simple as that. It is not the case that we do not understand that if we don’t get money there will be problems, there will, but we are trying our best,” he said.