Schools reopen amid teachers’ strike threat

Bridgit Ondu @PeopleDailyKe

Schools reopened yesterday across the country amid  uncertainty over the teachers’ strike. Students are preparing for the busiest term, which is set to run until October 26 with preparations for national examinations in high gear.

The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination will take place between October 29 and November 1 while the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination has been scheduled for November.

And even as students go back to school, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) issued a strike notice after their demands were not met following talks with the Teachers Service Commission.

Last week, the teachers’ union held a consultative meeting with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) where they mutually agreed to form a monitoring and evaluation committee, which will work on contentious issues.

During the meeting, Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion said the strike can only be called off after the commission successfully addresses the issues of concern to the union, which include the withdrawal of all circulars, which were crafted without the involvement of the union and withdrawal of Teacher Delocalisation policy.

In Coast, the majority of public schools  registered a handful of learners as schools reopened. According to a survey by People Daily, learning in some of the public schools in Mombasa was halted because of low turnout.

 At Kongowea Primary School, Deputy Head Teacher Leonard Fondo said out of 200 candidates only 74 candidates had reported. The school has a population of 1,200 learners.

  Khadija Primary  and Ziwa La Ng’ombe Primary schools also witnessed low turnout. Similar numbers were witnessed in almost all the public schools.

In Kilifi Primary School, the turnout stood at 60 per cent of the pupils which is equivalent to around 650 pupils out 1,033 pupils. At St Thomas Primary School, almost 99 per cent of the pupils and teachers have already reported back to school.

Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) on the other hand has said they won’t be part of the strike because Knut has not gone through the right channels such as officially informing the Ministry of Labour.

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