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Pupils celebrate extended holidays as teachers strike continues

12 January 2015, 13:30 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - Teachers are bullish as ever, while students enjoy extended holidays as their strike enters its second week amidst strained relations between unions and the government.

Public schools all over the country remained closed Monday, as the strike, which got a new lease of life last week following a court order that stated it is legal, saw teachers and their unions grow in confidence that this time round, they will earn consideration from the government over long standing promises regarding an increase in salaries and allowances.

And in a spot check by News24 across schools in Nairobi, there was nothing going on in classes and school compounds, with school going children holed up in estates lacking anything worthwhile to do.

Moi Avenue Primary School was closed to pupils, with other such as Nairobi Primary, St Georges Primary School and Westlands Primary School also empty.

On the other hand, in the estates, there were scenes of celebrating children playing games while the impasse goes on.

" We are happy to remain home while the strike goes on. We are having an extra holiday, " a group of children interviewed by News24 at the Nyayo Highrise Estate said.

It was a similar scenario at Langata's Dam estate, with children going about their business in the wake of the extra time.

" I want to go to school but since there is no learning, I will accept to stay at home and relax until it is finished, Andrew Juma a class 6 pupil at the Uhuru Gardens Primary School said.

There is expected to be a resolution reached between the government and teachers starting Wednesday as they meet at the Industrial Court to seek out a solution to the strike.

Both parties, the Teachers Service Commission TSC and the unions led by the Kenya National Union of Teachers  KNUT and Post Primary Teachers Union KUPPET will look for a solution to the strike, with both sides failing to agree on a solution in talks that have taken place in the last four months.

Teachers have insisted that they want their basic pay lifted as a return to work agreement, while the government says that it has not money to push for such a move.

The government also insists that a review of teachers jobs must be done before any increase is effected, which might take place in eight months time, but teachers are having none of it.

And while they seek a solution, children will continue to play games at home, hoping an issue that has taken years to solve, will continue to drag on.

" If it takes three weeks we will be happy to stay home. Our teachers have said we enjoy holidays," the kids at Highrise shouted as a parting shot.

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