Commotion reigns as teachers stay away
The third leg of Kenya’s school calendar kicked off to a tumultuous start as majority of teachers stayed out of public schools to protest the government’s failure to effect the much-anticipated salary hike.
In Laikipia, the teachers defied a directive by the Teachers Service Commission to report to work and instead converged in Nyahururu town where they held meetings. Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers Laikipia branch executive secretary Ndung’u Wangenye said the union would ensure that teaching in the entire county was paralysed.
The situation was the same in Uasin Gishu county where there was minimal turn-up of pupils in schools. At Uasin Gishu Primary School, less than 100 pupils reported out of the 1,600 expected as there was uncertainty over the teachers’ strike.
200,000 tutors may quit over poor salaries - study
A report by the Kenya National Union of Teachers says 76 per cent of teachers in public schools wish to leave the profession because their ‘professional and personal needs’ are not met. Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion said this would further widen the teacher gap that currently stands at about 80,000. The report dubbed ‘Trends of the needs of teachers in public schools in Kenya, 2015,’ mirrors findings of another study conducted last year by Education International that revealed nearly half of teachers want to quit the profession because of ‘unfavourable working conditions.’ The study categorised teachers personal needs to include salaries and allowances while professional needs include capacity building and promotions.
GEMS International School launches innovation studio
The GEMS Cambridge International School has launched the Lego Education Innovation Studio, an alternative approach to interactive learning.
Designed to provide a focus point for innovation and creativity as well as 21st century skills such as critical thinking and collaboration, the Innovation Studio is a total solution comprising equipment, training, teaching resources and technical services. The studios allow teachers to deliver projects and subject specific lessons centred on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Speaking as he officiated at the launch, ICT Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i lauded GEMS School for championing a cause for science and technology in Kenya’s transformative economy.
Lawyers in teachers pay dispute take on each other
Precise correspondence between lawyers representing warring parties in the teachers’ salary dispute has intensified even as the government grapples with the headache of effecting the Supreme Court’s orders.
The Teachers Service Commission through its lawyer Stella Ruto has criticised the manner in which the lawyers representing the Kenya National Union of Teachers and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers have been conducting themselves, terming it ‘unbecoming’, especially after the Monday ruling. In a terse letter on a TSC letterhead addressed to the Oraro and Company Advocates for Knut and J.A Guserwa and Company Advocates representing Kuppet, Ruto writing on behalf of the TSC Chief Executive criticises the manner in which the lawyers had conducted themselves, saying they were not assisting in the advancement of the rule of law.
Ruto has rebuked what she terms as ‘veiled threats’ of commencing committal proceedings the lawyers for the unions had issued to the TSC boss if the employer failed to honour the court’s ruling and pay teachers a 50-60 per cent pay raise by the end of last month.