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February 23, 2019

We want dialogue but won’t take punitive policies lying down – Knut

Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion at Masinde Muliro University on Saturday /CALISTUS LUCHETU
Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion at Masinde Muliro University on Saturday /CALISTUS LUCHETU

Teachers have moved from away from confrontations over bread-and-butter issues and are adopting dialogue, Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion has said.

“Where we are now, it’s about formulation of new policies in a fast-changing environment,” he said during the World Conference on Transforming education at Masinde Muliro University on Saturday.

Sossion said, however, teachers will not passively accept unilateral and punitive policy decisions by government. He said teachers will go on strike in September if the punitive delocalisation programme by the Teachers Service Commission is not reversed.

The TSC, Sossion said, must withdraw “unnecessary” paperwork being forced on teachers in the name of performance appraisals.

He said appraisals are a way of bullying teachers. Sossion said teachers must be allowed to teach in their localities, where they can help slow learners in their dialect. 

“This is the practice the world over. Delocalisation is not part of teaching. We’re asking teachers to focus on the syllabus and the scheme of work,”  he said.

Last week he urged the TSC to drop policies “hurting” teachers. Sossion said appraisal for teachers and delocalisation are being implemented without consulting teachers through their union.

He said implementation of the policies, which he termed “dictatorial and improperly negotiated” have hurt teachers’ morale.

“The TSC claim that the policies are contained in the CBA is false. We are ready to challenge it with the proper legal and human resource evidence,” Sossion said last week.

On July 21, Sossion said the government is transferring teachers to kill the union. He said the government should stop the delocalisation by September 31. The secretary general said delocalisation is meant to kill the teachers’ unions to completely stop teachers’ strikes.

“This idea of delocalisation was hatched in 2015 after our successful strike. A report showed teachers sustain strikes because they work close to home,” he said.

Sossion wants shifted teachers returned to their former schools. Sossion said international labour laws encourage individuals to teach in their localities and in their languages.

He said delocalisation will destroy education since teachers who are not locals will not effectively communicate with the learners and parents.

Sossion, a nominated MP, also said the laptop programme for lower primary failed to develop capacity for teachers. He said teachers deserved to be given laptops.

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