Another teachers’ strike? Knut issues 22-day notice

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has issued a 22-day ultimatum to the government to address outstanding issues before schools reopen in January. 

Yesterday, Knut demanded the end of centralised procurement of course books, a stop to teachers delocalisation and for headteachers to be allowed to join the union.

It called for the suspension of the National Education Management Information System (Nemis) launched in 2017. The union also wants teachers who work extra hours to be paid overtime allowance.

TSC vs Knut fight: Tale of child trying to choke a parent

When things are thick, so goes a Swahili saying, a log will serve as a canoe to cross a dangerous river. But once the master is safe from the treacherous crocodiles, he will happily split the log and turn it into firewood.

This appears to have been the case in Kenya’s education system where the membership of the oldest and biggest trade union has been systematically split and the splinters used to fuel the fire that is set to extinguish the used teachers’ mouthpiece.

TSC, Knut war a turning point in trade unionism

The organisations have had a love-hate relationship characterised by costly strikes, lengthy court disputes and acrimony over more than five decades.

On the whole, however, they have painstakingly sustained a symbiotic partnership to the greater benefit of teachers and basic education.

Which is why the threat by TSC to end a partnership that has been in existence since 1968 marks a watershed development for primary school tutors and the labour movement.