Teachers have defied a plea by Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to shelve their strike plan, vowing to ensure that no school opens for the third and final term.
Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary-general Wilson Sossion insisted the strike is still on from September 1 if the government fails to abolish some policies.
Mr Sossion said no school across the country will be opened for the third term if delocalisation, Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development (TPAD) and non-promotion of teachers policies are not abolished.
“The government has called for a meeting on August 21, we will go, we want to sleep well after that day. Clear those issues and we will be in class on September 1,” Mr Sossion said.
He added the strike will only be called off if the government meets their demands.
“The team that votes for a strike action is meeting in Malindi, our demands are documented to the employer; the ball is on their court to wait for a strike and it is real, and it will come if it is not resolved,” Mr Sossion said in Mombasa on Tuesday.
The nominated MP said when the Schemes of Services were abolished by a circular without consultation, the implication is that all teachers will lose promotion, which amounts to Sh5 billion annually.
“This is robbery of a benefit that has been running as contained in the Schemes of Service, which is legitimate and legal. We can’t accept to lose Sh5 billion.
We will go for the meeting with the government, if things are ironed out, there will be no strike,” the unionist said in Mombasa.
He noted that from 2015, teachers have received over 82 circulars from the Teachers Service Commission, which are difficult to implement.
“Delocalisation must be abolished permanently and forever. TPAD and appraisal is a slavery system which must be abolished and teachers particularly those who have acquired new and higher qualification must get promotion. That one is not a choice, it must be done,” said Mr Sossion.
He claimed a teacher died on Tuesday after being delocalised from Marakwet to Baringo where he succumbed to malaria in the new environment.
The nominated MP reiterated that the TSC must pay for the training programmes, saying teachers will not pay.
“We are not going to spend any money on any module to pay for programmes organised by TSC. Employment law is very clear and that is the work of TSC,” he said.
He criticised the TSC for coming up with a new policy that requires teachers to undertake the training after every five years or face the sack and insisted that the teachers would only go for the sessions if the government pays for it
But Ms Mohamed asked the unionist to sit down with TSC and iron out the differences.
Speaking during the ongoing Kenya Primary School Head teachers association conference in Mombasa, the CS assured the heads that her ministry will relook into the ‘harsh’ policies under her ministry.
“I will not promise that the policies will disappear at once, they were intended for a purpose and when the purpose is achieved, we will sit down and discuss. But I promise we will discuss some issues,” the CS said.
She noted that the ministry will address the challenges, but added teaching is a calling.
Meanwhile, Mr Sossion accused the government of implementing “a divide and rule” strategy to have its new policies work.
He claimed that the government has tried to divide teachers by infiltrating the secondary and primary heads associations.
A section of primary school heads had opposed the planned strike with some endorsing the new policies introduced by the government.