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Duale calls for devolved education to avert teachers’ strike

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale has proposed the devolution of primary and secondary education into county governments to avert the recurrent teachers strike.

Garissa Town MP said there are shortcomings and needs in education in terms of performance, infrastructure and teachers shortage noting that every county will have to deal and try to solve their weaknesses and also give better package to teachers.

“Each county has its own problems, for instance in Garissa Township there is teachers shortage which does not apply to other counties such as Kisumu or Mombasa. Its high time for every county to deal with their specific problems,” Duale said.

The MP however supported the government’s stand on the current teachers’ strike saying the government cannot sustain the wage bill as per the demands of the Kenya National Teachers Union (Knut).

Learning in public schools has been paralyzed countrywide since schools reopened last week after teachers down their tools demanding increment of basic salaries and allowances.

“We can’t have teachers striking every year over salaries. There is  need to devolve primary and secondary school education so that the counties can manage it. What the national government will be tasked with is making policies,” Duale said.

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“Each county can decide on how well they can remunerate their teachers and give allowances such as house allowance, hardship allowance,” he added.

Speaking while launching Social Security Fund programe in his constituency on Saturday, the MP said poor Kenyan parents are suffering as a result of the teachers’ strike with negotiations between Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Knut not bearing fruits.

Duale said by giving in to the teachers demand the government will open Pandora’s box where all public servants will demand higher pay which will affect the harmonization of salaries.

“We can’t have different salaries to public services, this will greatly affect harmonization of salaries with serious economic implications to our country,” he said.

On Friday industrial court declined to stop the ongoing strike and instead asked TSC, Knut and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education (Kuppet) to negotiate on how to resolve the impasse.