In June 22nd of 2000, Kitutu Masaba Member of Parliament George Moseti Anyona, wanted the ministry of education to table in parliament
a. Fee guidelines in all public schools for year 2000
b. A list of all school heads who had not adhered to the guidelines
c. The disciplinary measures the ministry of education had taken against the rogue headteahers
Assistant minister of education, then Adams Karauri responded to Anyona’s questions by tabling a list of schools that had failed to adhere to fees guidelines, and measures the ministry of education was taking to stop public school-heads from swindling parents’ money.
In February 2015, the same story appeared on our dailies. The Standard reported “Education Ministry warns principals against hiking school fees”. The London’s Daily Mail reported “Students in running battles with police in Kenya who use batons and tear gas in riots sparked by tuition fee hike plan”.
As Kenyan parents and students lamented over the hiked schools fees by school heads, teachers unions defended their comrades’ course to swindle parents’ money. We saw headlines like “Fees Directive ‘Unworkable’, Says KNUT” in our dailies. Parents turned to the state for their rescue, “Parents’ joy as Education CS Kaimenyi finally gazettes new fees guidelines”, The Standard.
Teachers’ unions are determined to destroy the education sector in Kenya. School heads and Board of Governors (BoG) are a threat to the growth of education sector in Kenya. When everybody is determined to improve the quality of education, the unions and the BoGs are busy moving to the opposite direction.
The questions raised by Anyona the year 2000, are the same ones the late Mutula Kilonzo battled with in 2012, and in 2015, Kaimenyi is tackling the same issue. Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) boss Wilson Sossion and his Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) counterpart Akello Misori are naïve and out to create confusion in the education sector.
The government allocates thousands of shillings to the public schools, but NO development initiatives can be seen. The UNESCO report on Education for All 2015, shows 30 percent of public school teachers in Kenya are
always absent. Another 20 per cent are present in school, but absent in class. Knut and Kuppet are busy drumming for hire pay, and increment of teachers. Several reports including Uweza East Africa indicates pupils attending public schools cannot solve simple numeracy problems, or read simple English. The unionists are busy calling for pay-hikes, without outputs.
The new education guidelines may have one or two problems in law. But we should equally know Kaimenyi’s motivation; “teachers don’t want to be accountable”. One of Knut’s core functions is “to promote matters leading to the improvement of education and the establishment of a common system of education”. The same is replicated to Kuppet. Teachers have played a pivotal role in the dwindling education standards in Kenya.
The unionists’ ultimatums’ is in bad faith. They should equally think about the welfare of the learner, and equally accept responsibility if they want to hold anyone accountable. Remember where more is demanded, more responsibility is required.