News / Africa

    Kenya Government Says Teachers' Strike Illegal

    Children work on their teacher's table inside a classroom as a nationwide strike, by Kenyan teachers demanding a salary increase, left most of the country's learning institutions paralyzed in Nairobi, June 25, 2013.
    Children work on their teacher's table inside a classroom as a nationwide strike, by Kenyan teachers demanding a salary increase, left most of the country's learning institutions paralyzed in Nairobi, June 25, 2013.
    Peter Clottey
    Kenya’s government has called for dialogue with the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) after saying the group’s ongoing strike is illegal.

    The teachers' strike has disrupted classes in public primary and secondary schools across the country.

    Labor Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi dismissed KNUT’s demands that the government implement a 1997 agreement calling for improved living conditions for teachers. But, Wilson Sossion chairman of the KNUT says the administration has reneged on its part of the agreement.

    “That is political mischief by some quarters of the government who don’t want to face reality,” said Sossion. “Yes, the strike is legal because the matter at hand has been a longstanding dispute between us and the government. I can assure that the teachers of this country are prepared to stay out of their classrooms for as long as it takes.”

    Sossion says the KNUT suspended a previous strike last February after a public appeal. But he said the current strike is continuing because government has yet to implement the 1997 agreement despite the goodwill and commitment that the teachers have demonstrated.

    But Labor Cabinet Secretary Kambi called on the teachers to end the strike.

    “KNUT does not have a case and I would advise them to get a collective bargaining agreement. Going to the streets does not solve the issue but coming to the table solves almost all the issues,” Kambi said.

    Sossion says there is no need to re-negotiate the agreement since it was signed in 1997. He says the administration should keep its part of the agreement.

    “What the government should do is to outline how it is going to implement the CBA [Collective Bargaining Agreement], rather than to purport to invite us to the negotiation table,” Sossion said. “So the government is being mischievous, to say the least.”

    KNUT demands payment of allowances set out in a 1997 collective bargaining agreement, which amount to shillings 41 billion [$478,692,630].

    Sossion also criticized a government plan to provide laptop computers to public school students. He said the government should instead allocate funds to resolve the impasse with teachers.

    Supporters of the government dismissed the accusation, saying President Uhuru Kenyatta promised to provide computers to students as part of campaign promises made in the run up to the general election.

    Clottey interview with Wilson Sossion, KNUT president
    Clottey interview with Wilson Sossion, KNUT presidenti
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora