• CBC roll-out has failed to secure teacher participation and confidence, Knut vice chair Oyuu says.
• 100% transition has created a crisis as there's desperate lack of resources and teachers.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers on Thursday said it is under attack from the government and the Teachers Service Commission but will not be cowed into silence.
The union said it is under fire because of its resistance to the Competency-Based Curriculum, which it insisted was rushed. Kenya is not still not prepared for it, it said.
The union’s national vice chair Collins Oyuu said, however, they are ready to discuss CBC soberly with Education CS George Magoha, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development and other stakeholders.
“The ongoing roll-out of CBC has failed to secure teacher participation and confidence,” he said.
Oyuu spoke on the fourth day of the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association annual conference at the Kenya School Revenue Administration in Mombasa.
He represented secretary general Wilson Sossion who is in Geneva, Switzerland for a global conference about teachers.
“Even as the teacher shortage is biting, we are being told that the (CBC) train has left the station,” Oyuu said.
He said the driver of the CBC train is the teacher, who has been left out of the curriculum reforms policy.
“The CBC train has left the station and is speeding towards the destination without a teacher-driver. You tell me what will happen to that train,” Oyuu said.
He said proper training must be done.
The national vice chair told the principals the union will continue fighting for their rights, despite the shrinking space in Kenya.
Oyuu said democracy and human rights are on the decline globally and that is why the alternative voices of workers are under serious attack.
“Knut, speaking on behalf of teachers, it is not a secret to say that we are totally under attack. No single government or employer shall support an alternative voice of the worker,” said Oyuu.
Oyuu said they can endure the onslaught because "for Knut, this is not a holiday camp or a wedding."
The union insisted the country is not ready to implement the CBC that it said still confuses teachers.
He said according to Article 71 of the Incheon Declaration says by 2030, 3.2 million teachers will be required to achieve universal primary education and 56.1 more will be needed to achieve lower primary education.
“Lower primary education to this extent nobody can tell us whether it is in primary or secondary. We are totally at sea,” said Oyuu.
Kessha chair Indimuli Kahi has also said it is still not clear where the junior secondary will be anchored.
“We need clarity on that. Will it be anchored in primary school or in secondary school?" Kahi asked.
Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development CEO Julius Jwan on Wednesday said the matter is a policy issue that only Education ministry officials can decide.
“Placement of junior secondary is a policy matter. We don’t deal with that at KICD. That is a decision taken at the policy level which is handled by the ministry because it involves infrastructure and getting the teachers ready,” Jwan said.
Oyuu criticised CS Magoha, insisting matters of education should not be forced.
The union has previously accused the CS of being arrogant and bulldozing his way with the CBC, despite concerns raised by teachers through the union.
On Thursday, Oyuu said Unesco recommends that teachers be continuously encouraged, through unions, to play a critical role in ensuring education policy reforms are in place.
“Matters education should not be coerced. Matters education should be shared. Matters education should not be given a thoracic approach,” Oyuu said.
He said the government cannot work alone and effectively implement the CBC.
Knut insists there was no proper consultation on the CBC, however, their counterparts in the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers disagrees.
Kuppet deputy secretary general Moses Nthurima consultation was properly done and Knut was among those consulted.
On Thursday, Oyuu said the 100 per cent transition program by the government has created a crisis, especially in secondary schools where there is over-enrollment without resources to support it.
“Were you prepared for the 100 per cent transition?” he asked the principals?
Matters education should not be coerced but shared. Matters education should not be given thoracic approach.Knut vice chair Collins Oyuu
“The infrastructure is inadequate, yet the whole theme is equitable, quality education,” the union vice chairman said.
He said that despite the increased student populations through 100 per cent transition, education has not improved, Oyuu said.
He said it is currently impractical to roll out the CBC.
The CBC roll-out requirements including class size, infrastructure, number of teachers, a supportive environment, among issues, have not been met, the union official said.
“In all fairness, the CBC is in the heads. It is not in the classrooms,” he said.
Oyuu emphasised that Knut has never been opposed to any curriculum reforms.
“But when we get into a new thing and every other thing is not put in place, it is our duty as a union to speak because the burden will be transmitted to teachers.
The union official said change must be accepted but only at the right time.
He said the country still has pupils sitting on stones in classrooms and the teacher shortage is almost 100,000.
“We are not saying that you stop and then you train teachers. That training for CBC ought to have been rolled out, especially for secondary schools because it has not knocked at your doors,” Oyuu said.
He said trainers who trained teachers on the CBC did not know what they were training.
He said whether junior secondary should be anchored in primary or secondary schools was not answered by the Education CS on Tuesday. Oyuu said that means nobody is very sure about CBC.