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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

KUPPET calls for dialogue over school unrests

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Kenya Union of Post Primary Education (KUPPET) wants sustained dialogue among teachers, students and parents to curb unrest among learners.

The unions chair Omboko Milemba argued that incidents of arson, violence among students and animosity towards teachers in schools stems from issues that can be resolved amicably through elaborate partnerships between student bodies and other stakeholders.

Milemba who is also the Emuhaya lawmaker urged schools boards and parents to work closely in strengthening prefect councils by making them effective mediators to spur harmonious learning after a long break that was occasioned by the Coronavirus global pandemic.

“We are urging the students, teachers and parents to ensure that whenever there are issues, they should give dialogue a chance so that we are able to stop the schools unrest currently spreading,” said Milemba.

Milemba also urged schools ‘management and parents to device ways for students afflicted by stress can regularly access counseling services as a way of defusing anxiety among learners instead of reintroducing corporal punishment which he says is against the law as it is a form of violence against children.

His sentiments come against a backdrop of widespread discontent among stake holders over incidents of rogue student attacking teachers in schools and school fires only two months after the reopening of schools for second term after 10 months break due to the outbreak of the corona virus.

On the KUPPET branch elections Milemba said 5,600 member teachers in Nakuru County will elect a new team of branch officials to champion their demands as put in the 2017 collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the ministry of labor and the Teachers` Service Commission.

Milemba said the voting that begun early morning went on without a glitch and 2,600 members had already cast their votes for 10 members vying for 10 positions within the leadership of the branch.

The branch Executive Secretary emerged the most competitive with five members seeking to fill the position.

He said vote-counting is anticipated to begin at 5.00pm and close at 7.00 pm and thereafter results of the polls for Chairman, Vice Chairman, Executive Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-Treasurer and the organizing secretary will be announced publicly to members at 8.30 pm.

Milemba said among the pending issues the KUPPET branch new officials with the assistance of national officials to be elected next month will be expected to articulate include stagnation of 23,000 members in job group L for between 15 and 23 years and re-designation of member teachers in special schools.

He used the opportunity to caution the Teachers Service Commission against reneging on the 2017 CBA saying poor performance among learners may result from its demotivation of affected teachers.

The membership base of KUPPET has exponentially risen from 65,000 to 110,000 members over the last one and a half years.

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