Mudavadi fails to bring teachers hope at Kuppet annual meeting

KUPPET Secretary General Akelo Misori and Prime Cabinet Secretary and CS for Foreign and Diaspora Musalia Mudavadi during the Silver Jubilee of the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) on December 16, 2023. [OPCS]

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi failed to address teachers’ demands during the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Silver Jubilee and Annual Delegates Convention.

Teachers had demanded that the government fund education, permanent and pensionable terms for interns as well as salary increments. Although Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi acknowledged the teachers’ concerns, he said the status of the economy must be factored in.

“We acknowledge that there are challenges like the stipend that JSS teachers get, as much as we have evidence that the education sector takes a big chunk of public resources, there is still a lot to be done,’’ Mudavadi said.

“We will not run away from the challenge but will systematically work with you and other stakeholders so that we can attain a more favourable position going forward.”

Kuppet Secretary General Akelo Misori said the clarion call was for the government to fund education.

“Today our primary concern was for the government to fund education. Any education which is properly funded by the government commercialisation and casualisation becomes rare,’’ Misori said.

Misori blamed the government for reneging on its promise by handling education casually through delayed capitation and underfunding in schools.

“Learning material in public schools is a dream compared to private schools. This affect the schools’ performances,” Misori stated.

The teachers’ union also demanded Junior Secondary School teachers’ working environment be improved, saying teachers are critical in the implementation of government programmes, and more so at the transition stage.

“The government has committed that they will be given letter of confirmation after serving for one year,’’ Misori stated.

Misori said the intern teachers cannot access health insurance as their permanent and pensionable colleagues.

He said the government should not be preoccupied with increasing the number of teachers without looking at their welfare.

Mudavadi said his ministry was involved in economic diplomacy to ensure that teachers can access teaching jobs abroad.

“We have to look at other sources to export skilled human labour. We must broaden the scope to have opportunities that may not be available locally but greener pastures to facilitate teachers to seek livelihood in the diaspora,” he added.

He further said the government intends to accelerate privatisation of loss-making state entities.

“If we have 355 parastatals and public entities that are loss making and are in debt... If we can get them from that situation, and stop pumping more into them, the money will be enough to pay interns well,” Mudavadi said.  

Mudavadi blamed the current financial situations on decisions made by previous leaders.

“Commitments were made and since they are now sovereign, they have to be honoured irrespective of who made the commitments. As a government we have to acknowledge we have a challenge and work on how to come out of the challenge,’’ he stated.

Education Director General Abdi Jillaow said Kenyan teachers are among the best paid in the region.

Jillaow was representing Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu.

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