OPINION: Teachers should hold off on strike threat

OPINION: Teachers should hold off on strike threat

The Kenya National Union of Teachers is again threatening to go on strike. This is close to blackmail because the KCSE and KCPE exams are due to start on October 30 and revision would be seriously disrupted by a strike. What makes the strike threat even more reprehensible is that KNUT met the Teachers Service Commission on August 23 and agreed to hold a five day retreat at the end of September to thrash out all contentious issues.

The union claims that the TSC misrepresented the outcome of the August 23 meeting but surely that does not merit Thursday’s strike threat. The union opposes the delocalisation policy that could transfer teachers out of their home areas. But there is a risk of tribal segregation if schools become totally local.

KNUT also dislikes the new appraisal and professional development systems. But in the modern world all employees undergo assessment and improvement. This is not a bad thing. The TSC proposals might benefit from modifications but they are generally positive and made in good faith. They are not so outrageous as to justify a strike threat. KNUT should pipe down until the retreat with the TSC takes place.

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