Harrison Kivisu @PeopleDailyKe
Primary school head teachers conference started on a chaotic note yesterday in Mombasa, when angry teachers attempted to eject their chairman Shem Ndolo over claims of opposing a strike called by Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut).
Teachers who are attending the Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association (Kepsha) annual conference at the Sheikh Zayyed Children Welfare Centre, also opposed the increase of monthly contributions to the association from Sh100 to Sh500.
The conference was disrupted for about 20 minutes as the head teachers shouted down the Kepsha chairman while throwing water bottles at the dais in protest.
“Ndolo cannot dismiss Knut. Kepsha is not the union. He should not make a stand on his own without consulting us,” said Kaplelmet Primary School head James Taalam.
They claimed the fees was increased in February without consultation and also questioned the rationale of paying Sh6,000 to attend the annual meeting.
However, Ndolo told them the increase was contained in the amended Kepsha constitution which the head teachers had unanimously passed last year.
Ndolo told the teachers who had begun to get agitated by his responses that he was “unapologetic”, dismissing the complaints as “nonsense” and therefore the meeting should continue.
It is at this point that the delegates began shouting him down, demanding that he give up the post because he is “illegally” in office. The chairman had to cut short his speech and was whisked out of the hall by security team.
“We want to know how this money is spent. They increased the deduction from Sh100 to Sh500 monthly from our salaries, we paid Sh6,000 to attend this conference, then when we ask for accountability, someone just says this is nonsense. That is unacceptable,” said Taalam.
The headteachers also claimed that Ndolo had retired from teaching and therefore was illegally in office. “Last year, he bide us goodbye during the annual conference, he was supposed to retire. What is he doing at Kepsha? He must go,” said Gideon Kiptoo from Kericho Central Primary school.
Kepsha vice chairman Nicholas Gathemi was forced to step in and steer the remaining sessions of the conference.
Meanwhile, tight security will be maintained in Mombasa to ensure safety of primary school head teachers attending the conference, Coast regional Coordinator Bernard Lemparamarai assured yesterday. Addressing the gathering, he said the 10,000 teachers at the conference will be secure. President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to officially open the four-day conference today.