The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) plans to lobby national government to abolish boarding school policy due to rampant cases of school unrest.
According to senior national and local KUPPET officials it is time for the national government to abolish the boarding school policy across the country in a bid to restore order in schools.
KUPPET National Secretary in-charge of tertiary institutions Sammy Chelanga who spoke to KNA in Lamu Monday after the local KUPPET elections held in Mpeketoni stated that the boarding school policy was taking a toll on learning in several schools across the country especially in the wake of increased school burning incidences.
He stated there is a need for the national government together with stakeholders to rethink the boarding school policy which he added was increasingly becoming untenable.
“The school unrest situation in the country is worrisome especially for teachers who now have to make do in working under Covid-19 and in some areas where they suffer insecurity persistently,” Chelanga said.
He further observed that teachers are the only workers in the country who are expected to report to duty even in hardship areas and do not have a risk allowance.
“We (KUPPET) are actively engaging the national government to reconsider this position that continues to make teaching in hardship areas such as the Boni or even Kapedo not only untenable but also unattractive for most teachers,” he further noted.
He also said there is a need to recruit guidance and counselling personnel to schools who will aid in addressing psychosocial issues affecting students rather than burdening teachers who are only trained to teach respective subjects.
Sentiments echoed by the KUPPET Lamu Executive Secretary Edward Mbuthia, who won a second term in this year’s union elections.
The Lamu union leader stated that teachers in Lamu need better remuneration in light of the challenges most teachers face working in certain areas such as Lamu East.
“As a union we know the needs of teachers working in and around the wider Lamu area, and chief among them is the teachers’ security and remuneration for working in certain areas,” Mbuthia said.
He acknowledged that so far strides have been made to recruit and facilitate more teachers to work in hardship areas by the national government but stopped short, stating more engagement is needed to realize that teachers across the county are well taken care of.
The national government through the public administration and KDF facilitate the travel and stay of teachers working in the Boni area.
“KUPPET numbers have grown from two years ago when we only had 34 member to date when we have 330 members many of whom have recently joined the union, further galvanising the union’s strength in the county,” Mbuthia said.
He reiterated KUPPET’s commitment to work towards improving the Welfare of teachers around Lamu with the aim of further improving education standards in the county by attracting and retaining the best teaching talent across the country.
Incumbent KUPPET Lamu Chairman Joseph Wanyonyi further said that the just concluded elections were free and fair with an 89 percent voter turnout despite the logistical challenges that most teachers faced to come to Mpeketoni to participate in the election.
by Amenya Ochieng