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We are ready to forfeit pay, says Knut official

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 00:00 -- BY JESSE MWANGI

Kenya National Union of Teachers has said it will not yield to threats by the government to deny them their June salaries. Knut Murang’a South secretary general Amos Murigi yesterday said teachers are ready to forfeit their salaries.

He said they will not call off the strike until the government meets their demands. “Teachers don't be scared of their withholding your salaries. We will not let anyone to intimidate us,” Murigi said.

The Knut was official was speaking at the Ichagaki Secondary School in Maragua during a prize giving ceremony. Education Cabinet secretary Jacob Kaimenyi has declared the teachers strike illegal saying the government will not pay them their June salaries unless they go back to work.

Murigi said teachers are not against the laptops project but want the government to get its priorities right. He said the laptops should be given to secondary school students instead of class one pupils. 

Murigi proposed that the laptops be issued to form three and form four students. He said standard one pupils will not take good care of the laptops. “The government should first set up computer laboratories in all schools and build capacity before introducing the laptops,” Murigi said.

He said the government should allocate the Sh5 billion set aside for laptops to pay the teachers and build computer laboratories. “The teachers are only asking for Sh4 billion," Murigi said.

Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wairia asked the government and the striking teachers to agree to dialogue to end the strike. He asked the two parties to consider the children who are losing valuable study time.  “If the strike will not end soon the coverage of syllabus will be affected greatly,” Wairia said.