KNUT Wednesday, October 3, BY BONIFACE MULU
Teaching is a noble responsibility and no government in this world can pay teachers commensurate to what they do, the acting Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) 1st Vice National Chairman Collins Henry Oyuu has said.
The KNUT official lambasted the Kenya’s government “for not recognising the work that is done by the teachers in the country. “Teachers are special intellectuals in this world because all professionals including the doctors, pilots and lawyers are the teachers’ products,” the unionist added.
He was speaking to thousands of teachers from Kitui County during the KNUT Kitui Branch’s 61st annual general meeting held at the Kitui Multi-purpose Development Training Institute on Saturday, September 29, 2018 where he was the chief guest at the function representing the KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion.
The occasion, which was graced by the presence of Kitui County Governor Charity Kaluki Ngilu, was attended by representatives from several KNUT branches in Kenya including Kirinyaga, Mwala, Malindi, Meru Central, Mwingi, Mutomo, Garissa, Kyuso, Machakos, Nyeri, Kiambu, Rachuonyo, Mombasa, Yatta, Embu, Kilifi and Makueni.
Oyuu said that the Kenya’s teachers have their right to go on strike. “The Kenya’s Teachers Service Commission (TSC) must understand that the KNUT its employers (the teachers).
The TSC must understand that it was born by the KNUT in 1968. I want to tell them that we are courageous enough to face them. This is a courageous union. The KNUT is courageous to lead its members. Don’t wait for another union to lead the teachers of this country,” Oyuu said.
The frustrating issues against you by the TSC including the delocalisation policy in the country and poor payment affect you as persons and they also affect your career, Oyuu told the teachers. The official highly lauded Sossion “for his extremely exemplary leadership for the Kenya’s teachers.” “Wilson arap Sossion is the President of the Education Centre. The Education Centre is a global centre based in Accra, Ghana with a total of 31 million members. Sossion is also the President of the African Teachers Federation.
And he is also the Secretary General of a giant union-KNUT. And he is also a member of the Kenya’s Parliament. He is the only person in Africa and the world in general who is serving both as a teachers leader and a Member of Parliament.
So he a very influential person,” Oyuu said amid cheers from the teachers. He also highly hailed the KNUT Kitui Branch for its excellent leadership. “You are a wonderful branch. Congratulations to you the Kitui Branch. We love you. We recognise what you do from the headquarters,” he told the Kitui teachers.
The KNUT National Deputy Treasurer, James M.Ndiku, who had spoken before Oyuu, highly hailed the KNUT Kitui Branch describing it as a very organised branch. And he asked the other branches in Kenya to emulate it.
Led by Oyuu and Ndiku, the teachers unanimously declared that the delocalisation must stop. And in her speech, Ngilu highly thanked the Kitui County’s teachers for all their support to her during her campaigns for the Kitui County’s gubernatorial seat in 2017. “You supported me a lot during the campaigns and you are supporting me in my administration as the Kitui County Governor.
And I assure you that I am supporting you and working with you 100 per cent as the Kitui County’s teachers. The governor blasted the Kenya’s government for frustrating the local teachers through delocalisation among others.
Ngilu told the Kenya’s teachers that those who are holding the higher offices in the country’s leadership borrow some loans from outside the country and that they do not give them an increment for their salaries out the loans. And she therefore asked them to organise themselves for the 2022 to take one of theirs to the State House as the Kenya’s president.
Ngilu complained that the Kenya’s leadership does not help the country’s citizens. “That is the reality but when we talk that, it is said that we are talking politics,” the Kitui County Governor said.
Ngilu said that they in Kitui Country managed to yield about 50 million metric tonnes of green grams in the last rains season (March to May 2018). She said the county government is fully supporting the green grams farming in the region as part of the wealth creation for the locals.
The governor announced that the county government had already purchased a total of 17 tractors that it is using for the tilling of the local farmers farms for the good of the food production there. “And we are going to buy 40 more tractors,” the governor announced.
“Kitui is the sixth largest out of the Kenya’s 47 counties and it has the population of 1.5 million people,” she said.
The governor disclosed that her government had employed a total of 589 new medics across the county and that they are going to employ more others for the good of the healthcare services in the county.
“We have almost all the medical machines including the X-ray, Computerised Tomography (CT) Scan, ultra-sound and electrocardiography (ECG) machines in our county’s public hospitals that are required to treat you,” Ngilu said.
The county government has already spent some colossal amount of money through the bursaries provision to our school children and we will continue doing so for the good of the education in our county, she added.
Ngilu also talked out about the water, trade and roads affairs among other development projects in the county by her government.
She had been accompanied by the County Secretary Alex Nzioka Kimanzi, the County Chain Additions and Value Additions Advisor, Dr. Temi Mutia, the county ministers and the county ministries chief officers among other county government officials.
Addressing the function, the KNUT Kitui Branch Executive Secretary, Simon Mutunga Nding’o, disclosed that the KNUT Kitui Branch has a total of 5,685 teachers out of which 3,750 are KNUT members (August 2018) representing some 65.96 per cent.
“The members are from our primary schools, secondary schools, teachers training college and curriculum support officers,” the KNUT official added. “We however, have a few teachers who have not yet joined the union.
We hope to register them through our Branch Executive Committee (BEC) members, the Burial Benevolent Scheme officials, schools, KNUT representatives, head teachers and KNUT’s friends,” Nding’o added. “The Kenyan teacher has been able to achieve a lot through the KNUT.
It is therefore our sincere hope that we shall achieve some 100 per cent membership,” he further said. I wish to inform our members that in 1976, the KNUT Kitui Branch under the leadership of the late brother Jonathan Mwanzia Mutia as the Executive Secretary started several projects which were very successful but some collapsed due to mismanagement, Nding’o said.
And he cited the Kitui Teachers Education Fund and the Kitui Teachers Investment Schemes that owns several plots in all the major towns and markets in Kitui County. “The Kitui Teachers Housing Cooperative Society Limited is looking for a strategic partner to build a modern plaza near the Kitui Bus Park.
I wish to appeal to you (the members) to pay 5,000 shillings to become the society’s members. The giant Kitui Teachers Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited is the only successful story and among the best in the region.
I wish to appeal to all teachers and members of the public to patronise the society. However, the housing scheme under the Kitui Teachers SACCO has issues that need to be clarified to members,” Nding’o said.
The unionist said that the KNUT Kitui Branch works very closely with the Kitui County government. “We have been engaging positively with the governor and the key agenda is the fate of the early childhood development education (ECDE) teachers employment on permanent and pensionable basis and the support given to our schools in terms of physical development,” he said.
We request our governor to channel some community support finances through our SACCO to enable it give micro-finance loans to the members at a low interest rate and therefore making it a financial centre of choice and excellence , he added.
“The Kitui County Health Insurance Cover (KCHIC) is a milestone in the health development in our county. We shall as teachers endeavor to promote this worthwhile project. A healthy county is a wealthy county,” Nding’o said.
“The garment factory at the Syongila Polytechnic by the county government is almost ready.
We wish to congratulate the Kitui County government for training our youths on garment making. Our schools will soon buy school uniforms at a cheaper price from the facility. We request our teachers to buy Kitui and build Kitui,” the unionist said.
The function was also addressed by the KNUT Kitui Branch Chairman Samuel Kathinuku and the Branch Treasurer James Wambua among others.