The Kenya National Union of Teachers is ready to hold talks with the Ministry of Education on the competence based curriculum (CBC) and the interdiction of 280 teachers.
Knut’s First Vice Chairman Collins Oyoo said the union is ready to sit with the Teachers Service Commission and the ministry to address the “grey areas” in the CBC.
Speaking during the 44th Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha) annual conference in Mombasa on the role of teachers’ unions, Mr Oyuu said the teachers were interdicted for missing the training
“It was an issue of absenteeism...We can talk with TSC because we must work as partners. Stop the suffering of our colleagues. In May the 280 teachers did not get their salaries, what do you think is happening to their families?” asked the unionist.
He said Knut was not opposed to the new curriculum. “Knut has not taken a hardline position on CBC, but there are grey areas that need to be addressed: infrastructure is inadequate, capitation, shortage of teachers and their lack of preparedness. We need proper participation,” Mr Oyuu said.
Knut also demanded principals promotions based on the years of service.
The unionist urged the government to address infrastructural challenges, especially in rural schools where schools lack classes forcing some to learn under trees.
“Kenya is not fully equipped for CBC. We have pupils sitting on stones; teacher shortage is about 100,000. We are being told the train has left the station, but the driver is the teacher. The train is leaving without a driver...what will happen to the teacher?” he asked.
He said the government must carry out proper training, especially for secondary school teachers. He added that the delocalisation policy is putting undue pressure on teachers.
TSC Director Quality Assurance Reuben Nthamburi said the training will be a continuous process.
“It is not a one-off issue, it is a continuous process. Teachers will have a paradigm shift. In 2017 we started piloting, in 2019 implementation. Teachers were taken through the methodology of teaching. We taught them about how competence will be assessed,” he said.
The employer said that teachers will be trained in August and December on delivering the new curriculum.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said Knut is welcome for talks, observing that all stakeholders are important in actualising the CBC.
He urged those criticising the new curriculum to provide solutions. “Kessha, Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers and many other critical stakeholders have publicly pronounced their support for CBC.
“It doesn’t mean they support it with eyes closed; my plea to the others is 'please come on board but don’t come with conditions. I have orders from my employer which I will defend with the last drop of my blood,"' Prof Magoha said.