Meeting fails to convince teachers to return for duty in northeast

Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary-General Wilson Sossion addressing teachers at the union’s offices in Nairobi on January 28, 2015. The teachers, who were posted to northeastern Kenya, have refused to go back to work and are demanding to be transferred, citing insecurity.

What you need to know:

  • Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion denied claims that he had incited the teachers not to go back to work in the northeastern region.
  • The Knut boss was Wednesday summoned to the criminal investigations headquarters, but he did not show up.
  • Knut branch leaders from Wajir, Garissa and Mandera counties tried to urge some teachers to consider going back to work for at least six months as their transfer requests are being considered, but the teachers would hear none of it.

A meeting held on Wednesday to persuade teachers to go back to work in northeastern counties failed.

The teachers vowed to continue camping at their employer’s offices until they are given letters of transfer.

The tutors had met with business leaders from northern Kenya who assured them that they would make the region conducive for teaching.

However, the teachers stood their ground. “As much as we know that all children have a fundamental right to education, we also have a right to life,” said Mr Johnes Osoro, their representative.

He asked President Kenyatta to help resolve the matter. “We want to provide our services, but in places where we are safe”.

READ: GARISSA SCHOOL HEADS SAY THEY WILL SUE SOSSION
They have, for close to 10 days, been camping at the Teachers Service Commission headquarters in Upper Hill, Nairobi.

Those who come from far-flung places are being housed at the Kenya National Union of Teachers headquarters in the city centre.

The boardrooms on the union’s second and sixth floors have been turned into sleeping areas. The teachers have tied clothes lines in the building’s staircase. The ground floor’s reception area is packed with their bags, and those who are nursing babies are camping there.

INCITED TEACHERS

Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion denied claims that he had incited the teachers not to go back to work in the northeast.

However, he told the teachers to continue with their sit-in at the TSC headquarters until their grievances are resolved.

“I have just received issues from the teachers and I am trying to solve them,” he said at the Knut headquarters after he met with business leaders from Wajir, Garissa and Mandera. “People should separate politics from professional matters.”

He said the union was only trying to find a long-lasting solution to the problem.

The Knut boss was on Wednesday summoned to the criminal investigations headquarters, but he did not show up. He said he was consulting lawyers on how to handle the matter. He urged the TSC against issuing an ultimatum to the teachers.

“It does not make sense solving this kind of an issue with deadlines.”

Knut branch leaders from Wajir, Garissa and Mandera counties tried to urge some teachers to consider going back to work for at least six months as their transfer requests are being considered, but the teachers would hear none of it.

“Going back would be a death mission,” said a teacher at Kamoroi Liban Primary School in Mandera County.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.