Knut demands 114,000 teachers to be promoted

Knut Secretary General Collins Oyuu (2nd left) is introduced to coast officials by Kilindi branch executive-secretary Dan Aloo (left) at Makande in Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

The teachers union has demanded the promotion of 114,000 teachers who have stagnated in one Grade by July this year as promised by the Kenya Kwanza government.

Speaking in Mombasa, Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Collins Oyuu said some teachers have stagnated in one grade for 17 years.

"The union is demanding that 114,000 teachers who have stagnated in one grade for over 17 years be promoted in July this year by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). This is unacceptable," said Oyuu.

He said that despite the allocation of funds for the promotion of teachers, TCS continues to drag its feet as its employees continue to suffer. “TSC cannot continue to ignore what it is supposed to do,” said Oyuu.

The Knut boss criticised the TSC for releasing the results of promoted teachers using only their TSC numbers instead of including their names. He said this would help in identifying which region is being favoured.

Oyuu spoke during the Knut Mombasa Branch annual general meeting at St Luke Hall, attended by the union’s top officials.

Last year, Education Parliamentary Committee chairman Julius Melly said the National Treasury had allocated Sh1 billion to TSC to promote at least 13,713 teachers who had stagnated in the same job group.

He, however, said that this is half of the Sh2.2 billion the TSC had said was required to move primary, secondary, and college teachers to the next grade.

During the meeting in Mombasa on Thursday, Knut officials demanded that teachers should also be exempted from “unnecessary taxes” as a motivator of quality teaching and quality production.

“Teachers should be exempted from the Housing Levy and other unorthodox taxation. We demand incentives like 30 per cent compensation,” said Knut National Executive Council Mr Dan Aloo.

Mr Aloo demanded house allowances for teachers in Mombasa should be harmonised with their counterparts in Nairobi as engraved in the Kenyan Constitution.

“Under Chapter Four of the Bill of Rights to equity and equality teachers in Mombasa must get equal pay like their colleagues in Nairobi,” he said, adding that Mombasa has a shortage of 1,000 teachers.

Aloo said mental health was the newest frontier challenge for teachers due to overburdened pay slips, taxation, and understaffing.

“The effects of this are absenteeism, truancy, desertion, and spiral acts,” he said. “We are also asking the TSC to give head teachers and principals who do not have degree time to pursue them or give them a moratorium,” said Aloo.

Meanwhile, Oyuu asked the government to employ Diploma teachers for Grades 8 and 9.

He asked JSC intern teachers who have been demonstrating in the streets demanding permanent and pensionable employment terms to go back to work.