Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha has rejected teachers’ demand for a 60-percent salary increase, saying the government cannot afford it.
Speaking Thursday in Mombasa while inspecting the construction of classrooms in Changamwe and Bomu, Magoha stated that the government is currently focused on setting up classrooms to ensure smooth transition to secondary school under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
“As a minister, because I am not responsible for TSC, I can tell you that it is most unreasonable because His Excellency’s government, which I have been grateful to serve, is spending 25.9% of the budget on education as we speak,” said the CS.
“Let us not play stupid politics, there is no way – and you can take this to the bank – the government can give teachers 60 percent.”
Prof. Magoha also claimed Kenya’s education sector is the most funded on the continent and instead proposed reforms in the docket to improve teachers’ working conditions.
“Teachers are of course entitled to increment of salaries but in the whole of this continent there’s no government that is spending more money on education than ours. So perhaps what we should be doing is to ensure we have value for money,” he said.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) on Wednesday demanded a 60-percent salary increase, which they wanted implemented immediately.
KNUT secretary general Collins Oyuu cited the high cost of living while pushing for a revision of teachers’ salaries.
“We have commenced a structured negotiation with the employer to see to it that a 60 per cent salary rise is awarded to teachers,” Mr. Oyuu said.
He called for a review of the 2021-25 collective bargaining agreement, which was signed with non-monetary benefits.
The 2021-25 CBA comprised non-monetary benefits, including extended paid maternity leave for female teachers as well as an introduction of paternity leave for male teachers.
Other issues the teachers union wants addressed are payments for the Teachers Professional Development which are footed by the teachers, and a review of the policies on teacher promotion.