Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Broke and idle, teachers getting fatigued by strike

01 October 2015, 08:24

Nairobi - As the teachers' strike, now in its fifth week, stretches on, tutors are getting fatigued by the industrial action.

The teachers, who have been on strike since the beginning of the month are idle and broke, with the standoff seemingly yielding little fruit.

Both the government and the teachers, through their unions, have maintained hard line positions.

While teachers, who were awarded a 50 to 60 percent pay rise by the Industrial Court, want the deal implemented before they return to class, the government, through the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), have maintained they have no money to pay.

The two antagonists, teachers represented by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), and the TSC have dragged each other to court as over the 12 million learners in the nation's public schools watch from the sidelines.

The unending battle has taken a toll on a good number of teachers, leading to the fatigue.

"I am now tired with this strike that seems to be turning against us. My thinking was that the government would give into our demands by the second week because of this is an examination term but their tough stance is hurting us," Stephen Muhambe, a primary school teacher in western Kenya lamented on Tuesday.

Muhambe is broke, and the prospects of him missing his September salary are high, and they are eating him up.

"I have no idea where I will get money to feed my family of four and cater for my other needs if the TSC does not pay us this month," he said.

Worse still, idleness is killing him. As many of the 280,000 teachers in the nation, the 35-year-old wakes up every morning, takes breakfast and heads to the trading centre at the newspaper seller's stand.

Read Also: Breaking: Government to hire 70,000 teachers for 3 months

There, he meets his colleagues and they read all the Kenyan dailies at a small fee. Thereafter, Muhambe and five other teachers engage in banter until about 1 p.m. local time when they go back home.

This has been his routine for almost five weeks now during the period of the strike and he has become tired of it.

"Going to school every day always helps to push time because one is busy. Now I wake up, idle and go back home. It is a torturous routine," he said.

In Nairobi, the strike is having the same effect on teachers, with Fidelma Mutua, a secondary school tutor, on the east of Nairobi praying that it ends soon.

"I am tired and tired and tired. This strike has taken too long that it hurts. I want to go back to school and teach as long as the government raises our pay even by 5 percent."

Mutua, as many other teachers in the East African nation, had not expected that the strike would stretch into the sixth week, as the prospects seem.

"I would have found something to do, perhaps even start a business or find students to coach." And what hurts her most is that students and teachers in private schools are carrying on with their business.

Henry Wandera, an economics lecturer in Nairobi, noted that the government is stretching teachers to the limit so that they can give up.

"It is a tactic that has worked well elsewhere. What the government wants is to let the teachers feel the pinch of their actions and perhaps start thinking that their unions are misleading them," he said.

Once the fatigue gets a toll on teachers and the strike is not boring fruit as things stand right now, according to Wandera, the tutors may turn against their union leaders.

The teachers would feel the nasty effects of the strike, according to the lecturer, end of this month when TSC withholds their salaries.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- Xinhua


Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...