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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Teacher strike in its third week

This is a very complicated story, but in brief the teachers were awarded pay increases in 2013 as civil service salaries were 'harmonised' across the board. These increases were never paid. After legal hassles the Supreme Court ordered payment back to 2013. It should be noted that these increases are from 50-60%!

The president has said he will not, cannot, pay and the teachers did not reopen school for the third term in September. National exams are looming, children are wandering the streets (see the article below) parents have paid fees (secondary boarding) and will not get a refund.

In the meantime, an order went out to close all schools except for Form 4 (HS leaving) and class 8 (end of primary) which will be sitting exams. But there are no teachers on duty. Also the government tried to force closure of all private schools where children are still learning, but were not able to do so. (Private schools are private businesses after all).

I found this article very descriptive of the situation on the ground.

We have had to cancel the Read for the Top session scheduled for this Friday. Although we are trying to get the teachers to agree to running a Form 4 contest next week, I am not too hopeful. The three small schools scheduled for Form 2 can maybe do the contest in early January. Secondary exams start  in October, so we cannot touch the  schools after the end of September.

That leaves all the primary (elementary) schools which should start Read for the Top in October. We are hoping and praying that there will be some resolution of the impasse during the next week. The school year ends in December, so it will not be easy to reschedule the contests into 2016. Stay tuned.

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