AP Photo/Khalil Senosi
Kenyan teachers and students have returned to class after the teachers’ five-week strike was suspended. The teachers’ unions at the beginning of the school year called the strike when the government said that it was unable to pay the court-ordered salary increase.
The strike was led by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers.
On September 25, Kenya’s Employment and Labour Relations Court ruled that the teachers striking must return to their schools and suspend their strike for 90 days. The strike is meant to enable a discussion between the unions involved along with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) over the salary raise.
“We can’t be on strike forever and we weren’t ready to be on strike forever. There are examinations. We must allow exams to go on and the strike is suspended. That gives us a window of opportunity to allow other systems to take up the matter,” said Wilson Sossion, KNUT’s secretary general, reported Voice of America.
The Court of Appeal is set to make the decision on whether or not the 50 to 60 per cent pay rise will be given to the teachers by the Kenya’s Employment and Labour Relations Court.
With the recent decision taken by the United Nations General Assembly to approve the sustainable development agenda, education is on the world stage. Development Goal 4 is aimed at ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning. This has brought the worlds’ attention to the teaching crisis in Kenya, the international community is waiting for the final decision; will the Kenyan government increase teachers’ pay?
Education for all has been set as one of the paramount goals for the next 15 years and teachers’ pay is one particular area of concern in trying to reach this goal. In accordance with the UN agenda and for Kenya to continue on the path of good education there has to be an agreement made that satisfies all parties and keeps teachers in the schools.