The teachers’ strike scheduled to take place in January is still on, Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary-General Wilson Sossion has said
However ,Deputy President William Ruto has said the government will engage teachers over the 1.5 per cent tax to finance housing so as to reach an amicable solution.
Mr Ruto said the push for affordable housing aims to enhance the living standards of every Kenyan.
He noted that the government will continue pushing for the implementation of the Big Four agenda, under which affordable housing falls, so as to transform the country.
Mr Ruto was responding to the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Secretary General Akello Misori’s call to reconsider the new housing tax during the Kuppet annual delegates conference in Nairobi .
Mr Misori said teachers were apprehensive about the new development, saying the 1.5 per cent tax would hurt them.
“We feel that we would do with mortgage for professionals like us,” said Mr Misori.
The Deputy President said the government will always engage diligently and hopes the same will be reciprocated with a willingness to compromise.
“That way, we will be able to find solutions to issues facing us,” said Mr Ruto.
He said the ongoing reforms in the education sector will be intensified so that the entire learning in the country is made more targeted.
“The assessment of learners has to be progressive. As such, our system should not aim at making children to pass exams only but also impart knowledge in them,” he added.
By making the education system students-friendly, the Deputy President said Kenya will have a stronger human capital base that will drive the country’s development agenda.
Kuppet Secretary General Akello Misori questioned the recent lowering of the entry requirements to D+ for diploma and certificate courses for those wanting to pursue teaching, arguing that the move would water-down the profession.
Recalling the 20-year contribution Kuppet had made in Kenya’s education, its Chairman Omboko Milemba said teachers would be “critically friendly and supportive.”
He said the days of traditional trade unionism were gone, ushering in a new model of engagement.
“Our brain box is massive enough to highlight the much-needed strategic modification. Conferences and research-based opinions have proved better than oral throws,” said Mr Milemba.
The Kuppet Chairman, who is also the Member of Parliament for Emuhaya Constituency, called on the government to increase the funds allocated to the teachers’ medical cover by Sh11 billion, “so that the teachers contribute a third while the government contributes rest”.