NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion on Friday said teachers were not moved by the government’s order to close all private and public 8-4-4 schools in the country.
He told Capital FM News that teachers will not fall into any of the government’s attempts to interrupt their strike without getting their 50 to 60 percent pay increase.
“We will not be shaken by these sideshows and decisions of the government, we will remain firm until the court orders are complied with.
Sossion wondered which public schools the government was ordering for closure next Monday.
He said, since the schools opened during the first week of September, none of the teachers in public schools reported to work.
He termed the government’s order as a mere announcement that did not make any difference at all.
“What news are you talking about? After all schools were already closed, which schools are they closing,” he queried.
Sossion termed the announcement by the Ministry of Education as a well calculated move to cause confusion and threaten teachers.
In his view, the announcement was also done in consideration of a ruling on September 25 when the High Court is expected to announce the legality of the teachers’ strike.
“We know it’s the government hoping that the court will rule in their favour. We know what they are doing and that doesn’t bother us at all. It is the government’s strategy to disorganise us,” he alleged.
He vowed that the teachers’ focus would not be shifted to anything else apart from the court’s order that awarded teachers the pay increase which has caused a standoff that has paralysed learning in public schools during the crucial Third Term when Standard Eight and Form Four pupils sit for the national examinations.
The strike which has caught the attention of the civil society, the opposition and hurt parents most seemed not to get any better on Friday following the announcement by the government to shut down both private and public schools on September 21.
Only pupils sitting for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) were allowed to stay in school.
However, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) said there will be no teachers to supervise and mark the examinations.
They said the national exams should be suspended since candidates had not been prepared for them.
“There is no teacher who will supervise the exams and no teacher will mark exams, meaning exams will be substandard in administration, supervision and marking,” KUPPET National Chairman Omboko Misemba said.