Azimio demos: KNUT calls for Ruto-Raila dialogue, decries disruption of education calendar
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has called for a political dialogue between opposition leader Raila Odinga and President William Ruto to allow the education calendar to continue uninterrupted.
KNUT Secretary General Collins Oyuu on Thursday, March 30, expressed concerns over the mass action called by Azimio la Umoja leader, Raila Odinga, saying it has adverse effects on the education sector, especially schools in the cities and towns affected.
He said that candidates are being prepared for the 2023 national examinations and the union is concerned that the mass action was ill-timed.
“We call upon parties involved to embrace dialogue to enable our education calendar to proceed un-interrupted. When this is not done the earliest possible, the gains in the education sector, in terms of recovery from the Covid-19 effects, transition to junior secondary and preparation of candidates will be put into jeopardy,” Oyuu said in a statement.
He said the confrontation between demonstrators and the police in the streets and residential areas has not only put the lives of teachers, students and parents at risk but also caused destruction to school properties as witnessed in Kibra recently.
“It is just at the beginning of the year that we started experiencing normalization of the school calendar out of the effects of Covid-19. In addition, this year has seen our Grade Six pupils transitioning to Grade Seven which has also come with its own challenges,” he added.
According to Oyuu, the mass action is also disadvantaging the students and teachers from schools in the slum areas as most of them have been affected, denying them equal opportunity and fair competition with schools situated in safe areas and not affected by demonstrations.
The union is also concerned that young learners in early grades are traumatized by effects of police teargas.