KNUT threatens to call strike if govt insists on new curriculum

Written By: KNA

He warned the Ministry of Education to brace for a tough battle.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General  Wilson Sossion  has  issued a strike notice  next week should  the government  through  Ministry  of Education insist on implementing the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC).

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While addressing union members at Sony  primary in Awendo  in Migori  County on Friday, Sossion said as from next week, he will rally teachers to down their tools if the government cannot listen to their concerns.

The Secretary General claimed  that the  implementation  of the new curriculum  will  require  close to Kshs. 300 billion  which the government cannot raise at once and that will call for more borrowing .

He said that teachers cannot be forced to engage in a venture that is doomed, adding that teachers will not be intimidated by threats from the ministry of education.

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Sossion claimed that the ministry of education had all the time to institute public participation before rushing to the implementation of the new curriculum but sought to ignore the plea of teachers.

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Besides the budget, he said the recent training of teachers   in preparation for the new curriculum was facilitated by unqualified individuals adding that teachers gained nothing from the training.

He said that  no  teacher  will be arrested  for  failing to  carry on with the new  curriculum  adding that  even those who were interdicted  for  boycotting the training  had been set free by the industrial court.

The teachers; union and the education Ministry have been at logger heads over the implementation of the Competency based Curriculum backed by the ministry of education as the union opposes it.

On Thursday, Sossion urged teachers to revert to the old curriculum, stating that the CBC violates the law and that the pilot phase of the project should have been evaluated first before the full roll out.

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The union has consistently expressed strong opposition to the new curriculum roll-out citing unpreparedness of the teachers as a major reason and has constantly been urging teachers to boycott it.

Sossion further noted that teachers had not been well trained on it and that they will explore other actions, not ruling out mass action to drive their point home.

“In this curriculum review process, you will see many activities of corruption and it is a matter of time before it collapses,” he said.

This move by Sossion contradicts that of Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha who on Wednesday said he will not be intimidated by dissenting voices opposed to the CBC roll-out.

“It sounds strange and unprofessional for the Cabinet Secretary (Magoha) to purport to be launching the National Curriculum policy that will anchor CBC before the summative evaluation of the pilot phase of the curriculum is conducted to establish whether what was piloted is better than what was there before 8-4-4,” said Sossion.

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Magoha said that the rollout was unstoppable and revealed that so far, 12 million books had been distributed to schools with engagements with relevant stakeholders ongoing.

According to KNUT, for CBC to succeed teachers of CBC must be trained adequately on the new curriculum and there must be standard assessment procedure of learners.

“Teachers have confessed that they were ill-prepared for CBC rollout because of inadequate training,” he charged.

The new curriculum policy gives details on how the ministry will ensure proper implementation of the new curriculum.

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