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ODM condemns government closure of schools

18 September 2015, 18:29 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - The Orange Democratic Movement ODM has condemned the closure of schools by the government, terming the decision scandalous.

The government Friday stated that it had closed schools with immediate effect because it felt that with the ongoing teachers strike there was no need to have students in school doing nothing.

But according to ODM, the move by the government is unfortunate since the issue can be solved once and for all by paying teachers their dues and allowing life to go back to normal.

Teachers were awarded a 50/60% payrise last month which the government have refused to pay, thus the strike and according to ODM, is the main problem which should be solved.

Education Principal Secretary Leah Rotich stated that the move to close schools was necessary to ensure that the safety of children in schools as well as that of teachers who continued to teach was guaranteed.

The PS said that there had been reports that there were planned attacks next week and felt it was good to just send them home.

" The move has been arrived at after serious consultation and the revision of the term dates for primary and secondary schools has been necessitated by the fact that very little to no teaching and learning has been going on in most of these institutions in the last weeks with an exception of examination classes," the communique said.

ODM statement on schools closure

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) is shocked by the government’s decision to order the closure of all schools due to the ongoing nationwide teachers’ strike.

This is not the solution to the current crisis in the education sector in the country. The order by the government to close all schools is an attempt to intimidate the teachers who are exercising their democratic right to fair remuneration and the right to strike and picket.

It is evident that the Jubilee administration is incapable of solving the crisis in the education sector and the kneejerk decisions they are making is an affront to the teaching fraternity and the parents of this country. As a party, we believe the Jubilee government’s decision is punitive to pupils, students, parents and the Kenyan taxpayer.

If indeed the government believes in upholding the rule of law and exercising decency, it would have been prudent if they adhered to the decision by the Supreme Court just like they were happy to appropriate the Presidency they did not deserve following the controversial presidential election of March 2013.

The ODM finds the closure of schools ill-advised and a step backward in the modern society. Matters as grave as the teachers’ strike are not the kind to be taken so lightly like Jubilee regime is trying to do. Teachers play a critical role in shaping the future and success of a society and they deserve respect from all and sundry including government.

We demand that the government rescinds the decision immediately and fulfils the demands by the teachers legally granted to them. The teachers’ grievances will not be solved through issuance of threats and intimidation, but by exercising the basic principle of humility and developing the art of listening which Jubilee government has failed in.

Meanwhile, Kenyans are reminded that we have a date with struggling teachers and workers next Wednesday 23rd September 2015.

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- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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