, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 10 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has hit out at the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for initiating disciplinary action during the ongoing strike, saying it has no moral authority to do so.
The union’s Secretary General Wilson Sossion stated that the commission’s leadership blatantly disregarded a court order and thus cannot purport to be using it to impose their demands.
He maintained that no directive was given as to the legality of the mass action and stressed that teachers will not be moved by threats.
“There are no conservatory orders that have been issued to stop the strike. That is a fact for sure. So it is wrong for someone who is a contemnor of the court, an institution which is in contempt of court orders to purport to be disciplining teachers. We are telling teachers, stay out all of you. Parents, keep your children for the time being. You have seen the situation as it is,” he said.
Sossion called on teachers to stand their ground and not to be shaken.
“Let her write 288,000 letters and we will revoke them instantly and send her in for six months for causing a strike. She should have resigned like yesterday. You cannot mess up the entire education sector and purport to be sacking people. She is not a goddess in the Teachers Service Commission and so we are very clear about it. We are waiting for them to write more letters,” he stated.
“We have the support of children that we teach. Yes, they are also very happy to see us live decently so that we can teach them. Everyone is supporting us and so the direction they are taking is headed nowhere.”
TSC initiated disciplinary action against 5,000 head teachers for failing to adhere to the code of regulation for teachers.
According to a statement from the teachers’ employer, the 5,000 have been issued with show cause notices for failing to ensure the welfare of learners was addressed despite stoppage of school work.
TSC reaffirmed its position as the employer telling teachers to ignore the calls by their unions which are misleading them by urging them to participate in the strike.
The commission defended its decision to punish the teachers as necessary since it needed to ‘trim the horns’ of those who have consistently defied its orders.
In the meantime, the Employment and Labour Relations Court has once again declined to issue interim orders requiring teachers to resume duty as it continues to hear the legality of the strike which is in its second week.
Justice Nelson Abuodha described it as impossible to force a teacher who is not willing to go and teach.
KNUT lawyers Ahmednasir Abdullahi and Paul Muite pointed out that TSC was talking about childrens’ rights being violated while they themselves were in contempt of court.
They stated that teachers will go back to school only if the government pays tem their dues.