By BONIFACE MULU
The Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Kitui Branch has continued to represent the members in the county events, meetings, committees and all education county forums as a major stakeholder.
Making the remarks, the union’s Kitui Branch Executive Secretary, Kioko Mutia, further said that the union sits in the County Education Board and other committees that deal with education matters either in the national government side or in the county government.
“We are involved in the arbitration of disputes between our members and the administration so as to foster better working environment,” the unionist added.
Mutia was speaking to the members during their branch’s 6th annual general meeting held at the Kitui Agricultural Training Centre on Saturday, November 16, 2019 where the KUPPET National Treasurer Njenga Mwithi was the chief guest at the function.
Mwithi was representing the KUPPET National Chairman Jeremiah Omboko Milemba who was out of the country attending an educational meeting in Paris, France.
The KUPPET Kitui Branch covers the entire Kitui County. “Next year we shall be more visible as we undertake to sponsor co-curriculum activities like sports, music and drama,” Mutia said.
He announced that currently the branch has a total of 1,500 members. The KUPPET official said that through their Burial and Benevolent Fund (BBF), the members have continued to receive assistance.
However, I must note with regret that we have lost many members during the three month validation period, Mutia said. This proves difficult for the BBF kitty to cover parents from both sides, he added.
“I encourage more members to join this contributory Burial and Benevolent Fund for more effective support during bereavement,” he said.
To assist members further, the KUPPET Kitui Branch is today proud owner of a union van as promised during our last year’s annual general meeting. This will improve service delivery to our members, the unionist said
. “Let us own this union fully to tealize full benefits,” he added. On teacher discipline, Mutia said: “Members, let us all times maintain our integrity at the place of work.” He said the cases of corporal punishment and carnal knowledge are matters of the law.
“If proven, they not only lead to dismissal but can also lead to jail terms. Let us put the cane aside and replace it with guidance and counseling,” the unionist said. “Kitui County is among the leading counties in Kenya in terms of sex offences.
Let us observe the Kenya’s Teachers Service Commission code of regulations,” he added. Mutia said the issue of the teachers promotion in Kenya continues to have adverse effects on the motivation of teachers. “Stagnation of diploma teachers at C2(K) must be addressed soonest possible.
Others have for many years stagnated at C3(L),” the unionist said. We had been promised advertisement for interviews for various job groups. What because of these? Let the National Executive Board move with speed and engage the TSC on the issue of promotions, Mutia added.
“Decent work is the work undertaken in conditions of freedom, equity, dignity, security and fair income. It is the work that inspires positive employee experience. My leadership commits to collect and manage data on the drivers of employee experience and inform the National Executive Board for action,” he added.
“Many post primary teachers who are not in the KUPPET have taken far too long to understand why our union was formed. For their sake, I wish to briefly narrate that two attempts to register an alternative union in the teaching profession in Kenya were respectively made in 1985 and 1993 before the KUPPET was successfully registered in 1998,” Mutia said.
The unionist blasted the Kenya National Examinations Council and the Education Ministry over the use of the Xylene in chemistry subject practical in the country during the 2019 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education national examination where the candidates and invigilators were taken ill after exposure to the dangerous chemical.
And he said that the ministry should compensate the victims. “In conclusion, I convey my belated wishes to all the 2019 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education national examination candidates.
Also, I wish good health to the centre managers, supervisors, invigilators and teachers of practical subjects during the exercise. All should maintain diligence during the period. Let me also take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and happy prosperous 2020. God bless,” Mutia said.
And in his speech, the area (Kitui Central Constituency) Member of Parliament Benson Makali Mulu, said: “I am humbled to be here this afternoon. I must thank your leadership because it has invited us.” “It is good that I hear you talking about the power of your union.
Unions are there to fight for your rights,” the MP added. I must thank the people of Kitui Central Constituency for allowing me to serve them for seven years. It is now seven years for them having me as their MP, Mulu said. “We should be discussing how to improve the education standards in this county as stakeholders. This is our county.
This is our home. We have no other county to call it our county,” the politician said. If we want to get the best academic results in the county, we must work as a team, he said.
“It is good for us all to ensure that we have the responsibility to address the academic performance in the area,” he added. Mulu, who is the Kitui County Parliamentary Forum Chairman, said that they all the eight local Members of Parliament support education in the county a lot through their Constituency Development Fund.
“We have the bursary components in the CDF monies,” the MP said. The MP highly lauded the Kenya’s teachers for their good job. “You do a very noble work of imparting knowledge and skills to our children,” he told teachers. He also told them:
“Your issues are our issues. So it is just a matter of sharing them in seeing how to get the results.” The MP condemned all forms of corruption in the country in the strongest terms possible. “As an economist and speaking with authority,
I want to say that Kenya has enough resources to take this country to the next level. The only problem is the corruption,” the Kitui Central Constituency MP said. The corrupt in the country must be dealt with mercilessly for the benefits of Kenyans and Kenya as a country, he fumed.
And for his part, Mwithi said they have seen the importance of being in the union. “We have very many people who are in unions,” the KUPPET official said. He told teachers that by being in the union they have protection. “If you are a union member and you go on strike, you can’t be sacked by the government.
But if you are not a union member and you go on strike you can be sacked,” the unionist said. Going on strike is accepted in the country’s constitution, Mwithi said.
The occasion was also addressed by the KUPPET Kitui Branch Chairman Philip M.Maanzo and the Branch Treasurer Gregory K.Mbwang’a among others.