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Kilifi JSS teachers reject calls to end strike

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Over 1,200 intern junior secondary school teachers from Kilifi County have rejected calls to end their strike, claiming that their representatives have been compromised.

Speaking in Malindi, the teachers stated they would only end the strike when the national government meets all their demands, including the employment of 46,000 teachers rather than offering internships.

Azani Ngumbao, the Secretary General of the Kilifi County Union of Junior School Teachers, expressed shock at the leadership of the junior secondary schools who went to the media and declared the strike over.

“The strike is still ongoing for the following reasons: we did not go on strike because of KUPPET. KUPPET did not call for the strike and has no authority to instruct junior secondary school teachers to end the strike,” Ngumbao stated.

He emphasized that KUPPET was not their employer and could not sign a return-to-work agreement on their behalf. Their employer is the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

Ngumbao highlighted that the national government had announced plans to employ 46,000 teachers, whereas KUPPET was advocating for only 26,000, which the teachers found unacceptable.

“We demand the employment of 46,000 teachers with proper compensation. Internships are illegal,” said Ngumbao.

He further noted that the TSC was not present when the return-to-work agreement was signed, rendering the agreement null and void due to the lack of official recognition, logos, and signatures of their senior officials.

Ngumbao declared there would be no retooling or returning to work until the teachers are fully employed and compensated.

He urged all junior secondary school teachers to continue striking and announced plans to stage their protest at the retooling centers on Monday.

Mwanahamisi Gawawa, another official, stated they do not recognize the interim leaders, acknowledging only their spokesperson Omar Omar and Secretary General Daniel Mureithi.

“The magic number is 46,000, not 26,000. Any talk of 26,000 is unacceptable, and we will not return to school under those terms,” Gawawa asserted.

She reiterated that internships are illegal and demanded that all 46,000 teachers be employed to ensure they can return to their duties.

The strike continues as the teachers await a response to their demands.

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