Government has failed to fulfil its promises to teachers

Teachers have persistently demanded to participate in curriculum review exercise. [Getty]

For the last 10 years, the government has failed to fulfill the pledges it has made to teachers, even as Kenyans yearn for expansion and change in the public educational system.

The government has spurned calls by teachers to implement educational programmes that will help the country achieve its aspirations with the resources available.

Global Citizenship Education (GCED), which Kenya is a signatory to, demands that teachers must continuously upgrade their teaching and pedagogical skills so as to be able to impart knowledge effectively and productively.

The GCED, according to UNESO, aims to equip learners of all ages with values, knowledge and skills that are based on human rights, social justice, diversity, gender equality and environmental sustainability.

It aims to empower learners to be responsible global citizens. However, despite the government promising teachers to meet GCED targets, there is nothing to write home about. 

Ideally, GCED and advancement of technologies require that both the teacher and the learner fit in the digital generation. To be more precise, global education is strongly bound to the globalisation process. In this case, pedagogy is a very effective tool to spread and instill global values in students who need to identify themselves with the new world outside their own.

Overworking teachers

To successfully realise GCED objectives as prescribed by UNESCO, teachers have persistently demanded to participate in curriculum review exercise, but for unexplained reason(s), the government has not enabled this.

The government has spurned the teacher retraining exercise. [File, Standard]

The government, which was initially to fund Teacher Professional Development and fully repackage teachers on Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC), has since spurned the teacher retraining exercise.

Despite the government promising to adequately fund TSC to hire more tutors to address shortage which stands at 114,581 teacher, it  has failed to, leading to the overworking of those in service.

Teachers who were initially promised by TSC they would be engaged in policy-making exercise and development of teacher programmes in line with Statutory Instruments Act (2013) were abandoned midstream. The pledge, for unexplained reason(s), was not met.

Upon signing the 2017/2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which largely benefited heads of institutions, deputy head teachers and departmental heads, the government committed to award classroom teachers a hefty pay raise in the 2021/2025 collective agreement which turned out to be a fiasco – the CBA, which was signed on July 13th, 2021 had no monetary benefits.

Despite the teachers’ employer promising to engage educators in policy development, the commission single-handedly redrafted the recognition agreements which demarcated teachers’ unions – confining Knut membership to primary teachers, and Kuppet to post-secondary teachers.

This reduced the bargaining power of unions, and greatly interfered with their legal status.

-Mr Sossion is a member of parliamentary committees on Education and Labour