Teachers turn fire at Matiang’i over school unrest - Daily Nation

Teachers turn fire at Matiang’i over school unrest

Wednesday July 20 2016

Education Principal Secretary Bellio Kipsang (left) with the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Fred Matiang'i, when they appeared before Senate's committee on education on July 19, 2016 to address student unrest. PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Education Principal Secretary Bellio Kipsang (left) with the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Fred Matiang'i, when they appeared before Senate's committee on education on July 19, 2016 to address student unrest. PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By ELISHA OTIENO
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A teacher’s union has faulted education CS Fred Matiang’i and blamed his style of leadership for the unrest being witnessed in schools across the country.

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (Kuppet) secretary-general Akelo Misori said Dr Matiang’i lacks a pro- active strategy to solve problems in schools.

“Issuance of mere warnings will not help because this is not the first time our schools are burning,” he said on Wednesday during a live talk show on a local vernacular station.

He said a comprehensive framework was needed “to inculcate values in the education sector”.

“We need to address real problems in our schools because the behavior of the students reflects the conduct of the Kenyan society. We need to do an assessment on the interests of the political class in our schools, the role of sponsors and the boards of managements,” he stated.

The unionist said most schools were being run by ‘weak board of managements’ that cannot address the grievances of learners ‘because they are only interested in sitting allowances paid to them during meetings’.

“Our schools are today in a state of hopelessness because we do not have values…our core interest is just to steal exams to enable students pass the national tests,” he said.

Dr Matiang’i has already shifted the blame on the ongoing wave of school unrest to head teachers.

This came as more schools went up in flames, bringing the number to more than 100 since January.

He told the Senate's committee on education Chaired by Daniel Karaba that investigations had revealed that schools affected by unrest lacked coherent and focused structures for engagement with management in schools as well as lack of harmony between some principals, their deputies and teachers.

“There is low level of commitment and responsibility by some school managers and long unresolved grievances that school administrations failed to address on time,” said the CS.

He told the committee there is a struggle over membership and leadership of schools’ boards of management and negligence on the part of the teaching and non-teaching staff.

To mitigate the problem, Dr Matiang’i announced that there will be a comprehensive review of the capacity, qualification and performance of all head teachers.

“Heads who do not measure up will be replaced,” said the CS as he admitted that a number of teachers had been interdicted by the Teachers Service Commission over the unrest to allow for investigations.

He announced the ministry is working on a proposal that will compel parents of students involved in unrest to pay for the destruction, insisting that no government resources including constituency development fund will be used for reconstruction of such schools.