Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha, has assured that the national exams set to start in about a week to come, will go on smoothly despite a strike threat by teachers over a salary dispute.
Magoha said Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), while having legitimate concerns should not use learners as toys to achieve selfish targets.
Speaking after inspecting a CBC classroom in Thika Girls Secondary School, Karibaribi, in Kiambu County, Saturday the CS told Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) to hold talks with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) on the matter.
“I have already pronounced my position on the issue and I don’t think teachers will heed the strike notice by KUPPET. The Union should hold talks with TSC which has unfettered independent powers,” he said.
He said the candidates have suffered enough stress caused by the prolonged Covid-19 breakout, as they had a very short period to study and punishing them with a strike to make sure they do not sit for the exams, was not only inconsiderate but also unfair.
“Why should you target those about to sit for their national exams? No condition is permanent. We need to give dialogue a chance and leave our children out of this. Children should be allowed to do their exams without too much political noise. I hope Kuppet is going to climb down,” he said.
The tutors have issued a seven-day ultimatum to TSC to open salary negotiations, failure to which they would resort to industrial action, coinciding with the onset of the exams.
Magoha reassured the candidates that all measures have been put in place to ensure that the exam will be free of any incidents of cheating and that the results will be fair.
He told parents not to pressurize their children in the pretext that they will help leak for them the examinations, saying intelligence is high to prevent any leakage.
“There is no need to disrupt the mindset of the candidates by planning to leak the exams. It won’t leak. Let the brain of your children work, else they will collapse in the exam rooms waiting for nothing,” he said.
On the progress of the CBC classrooms, Magoha hailed the Thika Girls’ School Administration for doing a good job and assured them of his support.
He said countrywide, 6,470 CBC classrooms have been completed out of a total of 10,000, which is 75 per cent and only about 2,700 were remaining (25 per cent).
The CS said Ministry of Education is working round the clock to ensure the construction of junior secondary classrooms is completed before the start of national exams in a weeks’ time.