, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 28 – Public school teachers’ tools remained downed on Monday as Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination candidates began sitting for their foreign language orals and music practicals.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) maintained that they would remain on strike despite an Industrial Court order directing that they suspend their strike and despite a Ministry of Education communication that schools would reopen on Monday.
KUPPET also reiterated its call to its members urging them not to supervise the national examination (KCSE) until their pay grievances are resolved. “There will be no exams until then,” their Secretary General Akelo Misori stated outside the Milimani Commercial Courts on Monday.
An empty call according to Kenya National Examinations Council CEO Joseph Kivilu who told Capital FM News that the examination was off to a smooth start.
“The situation on the ground is different from what the union is trying to portray,” he said.
Misori was at the Milimani Commercial Courts together with KNUT officials for a mention following Friday’s directive by Justice Nelson Abuodha that they suspend their strike for 90 days to allow for mediation.
“The judge scheduled the mention because we asked for time to digest the ruling and we’ve identified issues we’d like to raise,” KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion explained on Monday.
The mention however failed to take place after Abuodha was taken ill. It was rescheduled for Thursday, 2.30pm.
“Until then the status quo remains,” Sossion said, adding that they would only consider suspending the strike after their points of order are addressed on Thursday.
The parties are also scheduled to appear before the Court of Appeal on Tuesday. This is after KNUT applied for an adjournment of the September 22 hearing.
Acting for KNUT, lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi said they needed to re-evaluate if they would continue to participate in the appeal filed by their employer, the Teachers Service Commission, challenging the 50 to 60 percent pay increase awarded to public school teachers by Industrial Court Justice Nduma Nderi.
When applying for the adjournment, Abdullahi said KNUT was concerned that the Executive’s, “can’t pay, won’t pay,” rhetoric may have interfered with the independence of the bench.