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Kenya’s Teachers Protest in Nationwide Strike

By   /  September 8, 2011  /  No Comments

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Kenyan teachers call on the government to increase hiring during a protest outside the Parliament building in downtown Nairobi. September 7, 2011. (Photo by VOA)

Nairobi (Alshahid)-Classrooms have remained shut for more than 10 million Kenyan students at the start of the term when students sit national exams after about 200,000 members of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) stayed away.

Teachers marched through the streets of Nairobi Wednesday on the second day of a nationwide strike.

Led by the Kenyan National Union of Teachers (KNUT), they are calling on the government to hire 28,000 new teachers.

The strike is likely to continue after Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta issued a statement in Parliament on Wednesday saying the government has no funds to employ more teachers.

Uhuru told legislators that the country’s economy cannot sustain 28,000 new additional teachers.

KNUT has vowed to go on with the strike until the government employs additional teachers to improve teacher-student ratio, which stands at about one to 80 respectively.

Education Minister Sam Ongeri on Tuesday urged teachers to go back to their classrooms considering the upcoming exams.

Speaking two days after talks aimed between the union the government, Knut and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) failed, Ongeri said the Ministry of Education had been in talks with the Treasury over the last few days to resolve the issue.

Until the government relents or the teachers back down, class will remain dismissed.

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