As we celebrate Labour Day, give teachers good reason to smile

G4S private security firm marching with their dogs on 1st May 2022 at Nyayo National stadium on labour day celebrations in Nairobi. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Kenya, like all other countries, is celebrating its workers today. I thank teachers and other workers worldwide for their selflessness to ensure that the labour sector thrives.

Labour Day is supposed to be a day of peaceful rallies, demonstrations and celebrations to recognise the struggle workers have gone through to better their work environment and improve service delivery.

Teachers are entitled to conducive, enabling and healthy work environments, good remuneration and quality teaching and learning materials. If this is done, the end result will be quality education. This resonates with UNESCO's agenda 4 on provision of quality, affordable and accessible education for all by the year 2030, which is barely six years away.

Teaching outputs are measured with success indicators such as high completion and transition rates, quality grades at the end of a course, behavioural change and local and international relationships.

As a country, we are committed to support and be part of regional and international conventions that bind workers of the world towards realising basic and fundamental human rights; a key component in the labour environment.

We should be fully cognisant of the fact that government plans should be aligned with specific organisational and professional aspirations.

Education system

The government, through the Kenya Kwanza Education Charter, intends to improve and redirect efforts in the education sector towards tapping the unrecognised potential towards accelerating creativity that will play key roles in growing the economy.

This has been seen in interventions to review the education system, channeling more funds and human resource in the sector and paying more attention to research and innovation.

During this year's Labour Day celebrations, we should remind ourselves that a well remunerated and protected teacher will give proper attention to their learners and give quality teaching which will in turn lead to an improved society. Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut)'s major objective is to ensure her members' safety at work and good pay.

The government should have surprise messages of salary increments on such days and introduce strategies to motivate workers. Traditionally, the Head of State would make announcements of minimum salary and wage increment at the climax of his address to the nation that would be met by ululations and celebrations.

That would make workers happy and they would be encouraged to work harder. We miss those days, how we wish the 2023 Labour Day celebrations would mark the return of those nostalgic feelings!

On behalf of the National Steering, the National Executive Council, all the regional leadership and the entire leadership of Knut, I wish all our members a happy Labour Day.

Mr Oyuu is the Knut Secretary-General