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Private schools a threat to public institutions: Sossion

Tuesday December 3 2019

Knut wrangles

Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary-General Wilson Sossion. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

WINNIE ATIENO
By WINNIE ATIENO
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Head teachers have raised the alarm over the rapid increase of private schools in the country, saying they now threaten existence of public institutions.

According to Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) secretary-general Wilson Sossion, the biggest challenge in the education sector today is privatisation.

“Our biggest disease is privatisation, which is mushrooming all over. Some of the investors are putting up poorly constructed schools next to every primary school to destroy our institutions. We must defend our public schools and we have the capacity to do it,” he said yesterday.

Speaking during the Kenya Primary School Head Teachers Association's 15th annual delegates' conference at the Kenya School of Revenue in Mombasa, Mr Sossion urged the more than 7,500 head teachers in attendance to defend government-funded schools.

The Knut boss also extended an olive branch to Education bosses and the teachers' employer in a bid to resolve issues affecting the sector.

“I hope Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha and TSC will engage all of us so that we can work better in 2020. I sit on the global platform of campaigning for quality public education and fighting privatisation; we must unite for quality education as there is no other option,” he said.

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He said Knut was not fighting any policies and called for a meeting with CS Magoha to review gaps and address the challenges, adding that Knut was not at war with the government.

The unionist said he had been attacked over the new curriculum as he threw his weight behind the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) on condition that teachers were properly trained and not through seminars.

“It is not political for us to ask for proper training for everyone from head teachers to classroom teachers so that we can deliver. You must also be given quality teaching and learning tools because it is a completely different curriculum. In order to interpret CBC designs and teaching, there must be capacity building for teachers; it must be an intensive preparation so that we can deliver well,” he said.