Call for church intervention in Kenya’s national school strike

Striking teachers in Kenya have asked the church to intercede in the country’s national school strike that has locked students out of their classrooms since 1 Sept 2015. Last week the leaders of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers held a prayer vigil at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi and urged the Anglican Church of Kenya to press the government to end the lockout. “The heavy heart of the government can only be moved by the Church and we ask Archbishop Eliud Wabukala to help us,” KUPPET Chairman Omboko Milemba told The Nation. On 24 August 2015 the Supreme Court ruled state school teachers were entitled to a 50 per cent pay rise. The government declined to honor the order saying it did not have the funds. Members of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) walked out of state schools on 1 Sept 2015, prompting the Ministry of Education to stop paying their salaries. On 21 Sept 2015 the government closed all schools — public and private — locking out 10 million primary and secondary students. A Nairobi court last week ordered the teachers to return to the classroom while negotiators resolved the dispute. Judge Nelson Abuodha further ordered the government to pay the striking teachers. Both sides have so far declined to honor his ruling, leaving the country’s education system in chaos.

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