Kenya: Unionists demand permanent contracts for teachers
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) acting national chairman Wilson Sossion has urged the government to stop hiring teachers under fixed-term contracts.
The leader of one of the main EI-affiliated teacher unions in Kenya was firm that his union would no longer allow teachers’ employment on a contract basis in the next financial year. Sossion voiced his conviction that the Government has enough funds available to hire teachers on a regular, permanent , and explained that hiring contract teachers should be abolished, as it has a bad impact on the quality of education provided in schools. The teacher leader added that such employment of teachers merely on contract basis does not respect international labour standards. He went on to demand that the Teachers Service Commission, the government body responsible for teacher recruitment in Kenya, transforms 18,000 contract teacher positions (held by contract teachers recruited in the course of 2010) into permanent ones. KNUT has also repeatedly urged the government to bring salary negotiations to a favourable conclusion, as teachers’ allowances were last reviewed in 1997. EI supports its member organisation’s demands and reiterates its view that quality teacher training and decent working conditions are crucial for quality education.