NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 10 – Two members of Parliament now want the National Assembly recalled from recess to discuss the pay dispute pitting teachers against their employer in a bid to end the strike which is headed into its third week.
Shinyalu MP Silverse Anami and his Magarini counterpart Mwalimu Harrison Kombe who are members of the Education Committee said they were waiting for the Teachers Service Commission to petition them over the pay issue stating that they were ready pass proposals to rescue the education sector which had now been paralysed owing to the crippling strike.
“I would like Parliament to be recalled like yesterday so that we can confront this matter and interrogate it and get our children back to school. If we are waiting for the recess to end for us to do the oversighting that will take time,” said Anami.
The MPs also faulted the government for failing to honour the court ruling which awarded teachers a 50-60 percent pay rise yet it had effortlessly offered to bail out two loss making institutions, national carrier Kenya Airways which recently incurred a Sh26 billion loss and the Mumias Sugar Company which has been run down through corruption.
The government offered a Sh1 billion bailout for Mumias Sugar and Sh4.2 billion for Kenya Airways but has stated that it does not have the Sh17 billion required to effect the pay rise to teachers.
“We have no money for teachers but we have money for Kenya Airways and Mumias sugar – this is unfortunate,” said Kombe.
They accused the teacher’s employer of going back on its word when it lured teachers with the 50-60 percent offer so as to lower their demand of 300 percent only for them to deny teachers their right by stating that they did not have the monies.
They have since urged Treasury to come clean on the matter.
“We are concerned with the paralysis of the education sector – for Kenyan children to be out of school for three weeks without an indication of when they will resume is wrong,” asserted Anami.
Teachers have maintained that they will not go back to school until they are paid their dues, with the government insisting it does not have the money.
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Already TSC has served 5000 head teachers with warning letters and has issued a notice to teachers who do not report to work that they risk also losing their salaries.
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TSC was scheduled to have a meeting with the National Assembly education committee but according to the MPs the commission cancelled and was yet an appropriate date.