KNUT-KUPPET Rivalry Intensifies As TSC Deploys Primary Teachers To Secondary Schools
The competition between the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Teachers (Kuppet) and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) is set to heat.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) transfers tutors from primary to secondary schools in preparation for the Grade Seven rollout next year.
Kuppet, which represents teachers in post-secondary institutions, has stated that the transferred teachers will be recruited.
The tutors are Knut members, but because they will be teaching in secondary schools, the law requires them to join Kuppet.
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Akelo Misori, secretary-general of Kuppet, stated yesterday that Knut signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with TSC to only represent teachers in primary schools. As a result, they cannot claim to speak for the teachers.
“They are the ones who signed that they represent only teachers in primary schools and once they transition to secondary, they should join Kuppet,” he said.
Mr. Misori stated that the union has an open door policy with all post-primary teachers.
“If they choose to be members of Knut, that will be a conflict of the Knut-TSC MoA signed last year,” he said.
So far, the TSC has transferred over 1,000 degree-holding teachers from primary to secondary schools in advance of the junior secondary roll out.
More teachers will be redeployed to help with the secondary school shortage.
However, Knut secretary-general Collins Oyuu stated yesterday that, despite signing the demarcation memorandum with the TSC when they took office last year, the law takes precedence over the agreement.
He stated that Knut will represent all teachers, whether they work in primary or secondary schools.
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“A memorandum cannot be superior to the law. Visit the Labour ministry and they will tell you how membership in a trade union is acquired,” said Mr Oyuu.
He stated that the recognition agreement they signed with TSC includes a provision allowing them to request a review.
Kuppet currently has over 100,000 teachers as members, while Knut has over 115,000. Knut has yet to fully reach the 187,000 membership it had prior to the June 2019 conflict with TSC.
Mr Misori stated that if teachers are assigned to secondary schools, Knut should not follow.
He stated that Knut can only represent secondary school teachers if they amend their signed memorandum with the employer.
Mr Misori stated that Knut must understand that since Kuppet joined the union, their jurisdiction has been limited.
With junior secondary schools facing serious challenges, including a lack of adequate infrastructure, Knut has advocated for Grades Seven, Eight, and Nine to be housed in primary schools, citing adequate classrooms.
Mr Oyuu mentioned yesterday that the Grade Seven students’ young age should be taken into account.
According to him, Knut conducted surveys, and teachers and some education officials agree that junior secondary schools should be housed in primary schools.
“Apart from the fact that we will have infrastructure wastage, look at the age of these children, at 10 one is in secondary school. We want to make sure that parents are not over-stressed because they have to pay more for what is in secondary schools,” he said.
He claimed that the union’s membership has nothing to do with the call for Knut to have junior secondary schools housed in primary schools.
Read more about the state allowing investors to build standalone junior high schools.
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Mr Misori, on the other hand, stated that the students’ age is irrelevant because they will be studying a secondary school curriculum. He mentioned that in the United Kingdom, students start university at the age of 17.
“Whether the location of where learning will be in primary schools, does not change the content as they will be taught by secondary school teachers,” he said.