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Laptop project a flop, says Knut official

By Stephen Nzioka | Published Mon, July 30th 2018 at 00:00, Updated July 29th 2018 at 22:27 GMT +3
Knut deputy secretary general Hesbon Otieno speaking to the press.

The primary school programme set up to provide digital gadgets to pupils has failed, a teachers' union has claimed.

Instead, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) said the billions of shillings allocated to the project should be set aside to fund employment of new teachers and promotions for tutors.

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Speaking at Wote on Saturday during an annual general meeting, Knut Deputy Secretary General Hesbon Otieno (pictured) criticised the Government for "reducing teachers to watchmen of the laptops that are lying in institutions due to lack of electricity".

“This Government laptop project has failed,” Mr Otieno said.

Milk programme

The official added that "even the Kanu regime" knew well that the problem for Class One pupils was not lack of laptops but ways of retaining learners through the free milk programme.

“Even President Daniel Moi knew that Class One pupils needed milk,” he said.

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Otieno urged the Government to take on worthwhile projects to safeguard funds.

On the delocalisation policy that teachers have opposed, the official called on the tutors to demand transfer allowances, saying the motive behind the policy was 'archaic'.

“What was done was not simply delocalisation, this was a mass transfer of teachers and they should seek transfer allowances,” he told hundreds of teachers who had turned up for the annual event.

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The sentiments were supported by the Knut Kyuso branch woman representative, Agnes Kambua, who termed delocalisation 'dangerous'. She likened it to the recent relocation of 10 rhinos that died when they were moved to Tsavo National Park.

“If delocalisation has led to the death of rhinos in Tsavo East National Park, how about teachers? Kenyan teachers are really suffering since even recently-married people are being separated,” said Ms Kambua.

The official said teachers ought to teach in areas where they understand the local dialect since some points in class had to be 'pushed' in vernacular for the pupils to understand.

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