News / Africa

Kenyan Teachers Threaten Strike Over School Funding

Kenyan teachers protest in front of prime minister's office in Nairobi. Kenya. (file photo)
Kenyan teachers protest in front of prime minister's office in Nairobi. Kenya. (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
NAIROBI, Kenya - The Kenya National Union of Teachers is threatening a nation-wide strike if the Kenyan government does not release funds for primary and secondary school education. The government says the money is on its way to the schools.

The teachers’ union has given the Kenyan government until Friday to release more than $127 million to the education system or face countrywide closures of primary and secondary schools.
 
Kenya National Union of Teachers Chairman Wilson Sossion says the government has released only nine percent of the funds allocated for secondary schools, while primary schools have received almost 80 percent of their money.
 
Sossion says the results are devastating.
 
“The tuition material is fully paid by the government, it is charged against this money.  So how do you expect teachers to deliver quality learning without these resources?  And the suppliers are withdrawing," said Sossion. "Nobody can supply materials or can supply resources for a long period of time when payment is very uncertain.”
 
Materials funded by the government include textbooks, exercise books, stationary, and other learning aids, as well as workers’ salaries. Sossion says workers in schools have not been paid since April.
 
Sossion blames the situation on what he calls “miscommunication” between the Ministry of Education and the Treasury.
 
He says if the impasse is not resolved by June 8, the union will instruct school personnel to close primary and secondary schools.
 
“We shall not allow government to treat the education sector casually," said Sossion."It must plan properly and wire the money on time.”
 
Government spokesman Alfred Mutua says the situation has been resolved.
 
“The funding has come from the government," he said. "It is only about releasing it from the exchequer, that is it.  It should be in schools by the end of today or tomorrow. It is a non-story.”
 
Mutua did not explain why it is taking so long for the government to release the funds.
 
Union Chairman Sossion explains education funds for primary and secondary schools are released in three batches, the first one occurring during the first school term at 50 percent of the total.
 
The union says many principals and head teachers have been taking out loans to finance school activities.
 
Kenya's government has been praised for its policy of free education, but corruption and other inefficiencies have been compromising the availability and quality of the schooling.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid