Tears, smiles as schools open

It was joy and tears as children reported to school on the first day of term one yesterday. This comes even as the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) commenced talks to iron out some contentious issues.

The dialogue process started yesterday and although the team did not reveal the outcome, it emerged that it went on well with sources at the meeting saying it was ‘a step in the right direction’.

The one-hour meeting lay the foundation on how the team would engage going forward. The Employment and Labour Relations Court on Wednesday stopped a strike called by Knut and ordered that schools be opened for the first term.

Justice Bryam Ongaya barred the transfer of Knut officials pending the hearing of a case filed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

He further directed TSC and Knut to engage in dialogue to resolve their differences. Knut was contesting the transfer of over 3,000 head teachers, promotion, performance contracting system and teachers professional development modules.

But the industrial court stopped the transfer of union officials from areas they were elected in, coming as a win for Knut. Knut’s plea for the opening date to be moved to January 7 was turned down by the court.

A spot check by People Daily established that most schools in Nairobi opened and learners spend better hours of their morning preparing to start studies.

In Nakuru, hundreds of passengers, including students, were left stranded for hours at various bus stations following a shortage of transport.

Teachers in Migori county reported to their workstations following court orders that barred the strike that had been announced by Knut  Secretary General Wilson Sossion.

Busia county director TSC Ibrahim Rugut said 38 secondary school principals and 20 primary headteachers who were transferred from other counties have reported to their various schools.

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